Causes of Toothaches

Just about everyone has suffered from a toothache at some point. They can cause you pain, headaches, and suffering that interfere with your everyday life.

In most cases, a toothache is caused by a cavity and tooth decay. They’re not the only causes of toothaches though. You can have a toothache even when you don’t have a single cavity.

For you to be better informed, we have created a list of causes of toothaches so you can learn what could be causing yours.

Have a toothache in the Plano, Texas area? Call Dr. Wilhite for Treatment: (972) 964-3774


TMJ Pain ReliefCauses of Toothaches

  • Tooth Decay
  • Tooth Abscess
  • Gum Disease
  • Tooth Fractures
  • Temperature Sensitivity
  • Damaged Fillings
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Brushing Too Hard
  • Chewing Gum
  • Misaligned Teeth
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth
  • Orthodontic Alignment


Tooth Decay

The most common reason for a toothache is tooth decay. Most people know when they have a toothache that it’s likely to be from a cavity. If a the ache begins to change into a sharp pain, the tooth decay may have reached the center of the tooth. This can become very painful and we won’t even have to advise you to see a dentist when it reaches that point – you’ll want to.


Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess is an infection in or around the root of the tooth which may be painful.  When tooth decay has advanced to the where it is affecting the root beneath the visible tooth, there is a high chance that the root and the surrounding tissue have become infected. This can cause widespread pulsating pain.


gum disease fact and statisticsGum Disease

Gum disease is caused by toxins secreted by bacteria in plaque buildup. Gum disease can cause red gums, bleeding gums, receding gums, and over time, result in toothaches.

Related: Gum Disease Treatment


Tooth Fractures

A tooth can be cracked or chipped in many differ cracked or chipped in many different ways. Sometimes this can happen and not result in any pain at the time it happens. Over time, the crack or fracture can spread, and enter the middle of the tooth where your nerve endings are. This can result in excruciating pain.

Related: Types of Broken Teeth


Temperature Sensitivity

For a variety of reasons, from poor dental care, brushing too hard, or teeth whitening, your tooth enamel can wear down and expose the dentin layer of your teeth over time. If you experience toothaches during or after eating or drinking something that is hot or cold, this may be the cause.

Related: The Causes of Sensitive Teeth


Tooth Extraction

Damaged Fillings

Dental fillings cover fractures, pits, and grooves in teeth, protecting sensitive areas of the tooth. If fillings become damaged, it exposes sensitive parts of your teeth to hot and cold temperatures, food, and bacteria. This can result in a toothache.


Teeth Grinding

Some people grind their teeth while they’re sleeping or during stressful situations. Teeth grinding (bruxism) can be a common reason for toothaches, as well as tooth, jaw, neck, and TMJ pain and headaches.

Related: Teeth Grinding FAQ


Brushing Too Hard

It is fairly common for people to apply to much pressure when brushing or flossing. This result of brushing too hard can cause irritated, inflamed, and bleeding gums. It can also cause gums to recede and can make teeth unstable, causing a toothache.

Related: Teaching Your Children to Brush or Floss


Chewing Gum

Chewing gum creates a repetitive motion that is repeated constantly. Over time, this may lead to TMJ Disorder and sometimes toothaches.


Misaligned Teeth

Teeth that are misaligned can press against your other teeth, pushing them out of where they should be and cause toothaches.

Related: Clear Invisalign Braces


Toothpaste and brush - What is in toothpaste?Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth can fester below the gum line and sometimes push against other teeth, causing toothaches and xtreme pain.


Orthodontic Alignment

Braces, retainers, and other dental alignment systems are a common cause for oral discomfort and aching pain among teeth.

Related: What are the advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces?


Ready for your dental appointment in the Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your examination. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience helping patients to keep their smiles healthy. He will be able to identify possible issues and recommend further treatments if needed.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped thousands of patients with a wide variety of dental health issues from general to cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign clear braces, TMJ treatment, dental implants, and full mouth restorations.