Toothache can occur in the teeth and around the jaws, and is caused by a number of different dental issues. Usually, the pain begins suddenly, and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. It can come and go, but it can also be constant, and made worse by eating or drinking. Additionally, toothache may get progressively worse as time goes on, so it is essential to see a dentist as soon as you can.
Why does toothache happen?
Toothache occurs when the dental pulp becomes inflamed. The dental pulp is made of delicate tissue containing blood vessels and sensitive nerves. The dental pulp can become inflamed for a number of reasons, including:
- Bacterial infection
- Tooth decay
- Receding gums
- A cracked tooth
- Broken or loose fillings
Other reasons for toothache that don’t involve the dental pulp include:
- Injury to the temporomandibular joint (the joint that connects the skull to the jaw)
- Ulcers on the gums
- Sinus inflammation
- Eruption of wisdom teeth
- Impacted wisdom teeth
How is toothache treated?
How toothache is treated depends on the cause of the pain. First, your mouth is examined, and an x-ray may be taken of your teeth to help identify the issue.
If the toothache is a result of tooth decay, the decay will be removed and replaced with a filling.
If your toothache is due to a broken or loose filling, the damaged filling will be replaced, removing any decay during the procedure.
If the dental pulp is infected, a course of antibiotics or root canal treatment may be necessary. During this procedure your emergency dentist will remove the pulp, fill the space with paste and cover the rest of the tooth with a crown to seal and protect it.