Having a toothache is not only unpleasant, but it can also be a great source of stress if you do not know why your tooth hurts. You can easily leap to the worst possible conclusion and assume that you will need a tooth extraction. In reality, there are many possible reasons why a tooth might hurt, and many things that a dentist can do to resolve the problem. Take a look at this list of possible conditions to ease your worry and then reach out to a dentist for an urgent appointment.
1. You Have a Cavity
One common cause of toothache is a cavity developing in the affected tooth. If you seek treatment for a cavity before the decay has spread far inside the tooth, then your dentist can easily fix it by applying a simple dental filling. However, leaving the cavity to progress could mean that you need a root canal procedure later on.
2. You Have Sensitive Teeth
What feels like a toothache is sometimes just sensitive teeth. Teeth most often experience sensitivity when you eat or drink something very hot, very cold, or very sweet, whereas a toothache is more likely to be constant. Sensitivity usually affects several teeth at the same time, whereas a toothache is more typically concentrated in just one tooth.
The pain of sensitive teeth is mild and comes and goes depending on what you eat and drink. It also typically responds well to toothpaste that is designed for sensitive teeth. If your discomfort seems more like sensitivity than toothache, try brushing with this kind of toothpaste twice a day for a few days to see if that helps. However, if the pain is more severe, then you should schedule an emergency dentist appointment.
3. You Have Cracked a Tooth
Toothache that starts suddenly, usually while eating, can be a sign that you have cracked a tooth by biting down too hard. This situation requires treatment from a dentist as quickly as possible. Ignoring a cracked tooth can lead to bacteria getting inside it and causing an infection.
4. You Have a Sinus Infection
Sometimes, it is easy to mistake the aching sensation caused by a sinus infection for a toothache. If the pain is in your upper jaw and you have other symptoms, such as a headache, blocked nose, and fatigue, then a sinus infection could be to blame. Sinus infections usually get better after a few days, but if your toothache lasts longer than necessary, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist.