I have a toothache, what does it mean?

Having a toothache is no fun, especially when you’re not sure what’s causing it. The pain can begin to affect your quality of life and even limit your ability to eat, depending on how severe it is. It’s important to see your dentist and find the root of the problem — pun intended! — so you can get it fixed as soon as possible. 

Potential Causes

There are a lot of factors that could be contributing to your toothache:

  • Tooth sensitivity.
  • Tooth fracture.
  • A damaged filling.
  • Repetitive motions.
  • Eruption or removal of a tooth. 

These are all minor causes that your dentist can help treat, but sometimes your toothache might be from a more severe underlying issue:

  • Cavities — tooth decay can begin causing pain in your tooth the more severe it gets.
  • TMJ — a type of temporomandibular disorder which can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement. This disorder can cause toothaches in the affected areas.
  • Infected gums.
  • Abscessed tooth — a bacterial infection inside the center of the tooth.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain that won’t go away, or is worsening, call your dentist right away and make an appointment to have it checked out. 

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