The second you feel a twinge of pain when you bite into something, panic sets in. The first thing that comes to mind is a big needle and a drill filling the cavity you’re already convinced you have. The good news is not every toothache means you have a cavity. Take a deep breath, relax and read about five possible reasons for that toothache:
1. You could have a bad sinus Infection.
Although it sounds crazy, the roots of your top teeth actually sit very close to the sinuses. When you have a sinus infection, the pressure can cause tooth or jaw pain. Sometimes treating the sinus infection is all you need to relieve the tooth pain.
2. You could be grinding your teeth while you sleep.
Many patients come to Dr. Pappas and are shocked to find out they show signs of grinding their teeth. This is because it often happens during sleep. Sometimes a night guard is the solution to teeth grinding, and other times realigning the teeth so they meet where they should can be the answer.
3. You might be experiencing tooth sensitivity.
When the enamel wears down on your teeth, they may be more vulnerable to sensitivity. The enamel on each tooth can be broken down over time by diet, genetics or over bleaching, among other lifestyle factors. The problem is, it doesn’t grow back. Switching to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help, along with avoiding foods and drinks that are very hot or cold or are high in sugar or citric acid.
4. You could have a damaged filling or sealant.
Fillings protect the tooth from outside forces that can cause pain and infection. Over time, they can break down, crack or start to shift. If the inside of the tooth becomes exposed, it can definitely cause discomfort anywhere from dull aches to sharp, shooting pain. Be sure to have a dentist check your fillings if you suspect this could be the cause.
5. You could have a chipped or fractured tooth.
You may be surprised to find out it’s entirely possible to suffer a crack or fracture in a tooth without realizing it. This can be caused by trauma such as a fall, car accident or other incident, or it can be a result of clenching and grinding your teeth. The force of our jaws is so strong that over time, extreme clenching and grinding can fracture teeth.
If you are experiencing a toothache, it’s always best to get it checked out just in case. To schedule an appointment, or for any questions, call Arcadia Dental Arts at 602-680-5356.