Common Causes and Symptoms of Toothache

There is nothing more discomforting than dealing with a toothache. Words used to describe this malady include dull, throbbing, excruciating, and mind-numbing … you seldom hear the terms pleasant or enjoyable when discussing a dental problem.

A toothache can exist for many reasons including:

  • Malocclusion – This condition occurs when the top teeth are not properly aligned with the bottom teeth.
  • Decay – Whenever the tooth’s enamel is breached due to erosion, plaque build-up, poor dental hygiene, or a break, the nerve of the tooth is exposed and can result in a toothache. Seeing the dentist to have the decay repaired will relieve the discomfort.
  • Infection – A hairline crack indiscernible to the naked eye can allow bacteria to penetrate into the inner chambers of the tooth. When this occurs, infection can result. Endodontic therapy (root canal) is often the response needed. Failure to clean out the canals of the tooth’s roots can result in abscess and the potential for tooth loss.
  • Gum disease – Gingivitis or periodontitis are conditions that primarily affect gum tissue. But the discomfort that can accompany gum disease can translate into teeth hurting. Bleeding or swollen gum tissue is an early indicator of gum disease and call for being treated professionally.
  • Tooth extraction – There are times when salvaging a tooth is no longer possible or in the best interest of the patient. A toothache is usually at the basis of this decision.
  • Third Molars – More commonly known as wisdom teeth, these are the last permanent teeth to erupt. Quite often, however, they don’t come in straight. Or they may grow sideways or not erupt at all. For many patients, third molars that do not present a problem can be left alone. But extracting the third molars occurs frequently due to the discomfort their presence causes as well as orthodontic problems.
  • Wearing Braces – Teeth that require straightening present both a health concern as well an aesthetic situation. Having orthodontic work done has an ultimate prize, but there can be discomfort when braces are initially placed and with each adjustment.


No matter what the origin of a toothache is, our team at Howl Dental can relieve the discomfort while enhancing your oral health. Call 918-749-1626 to schedule your visit today.