When you have pain in your mouth, it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint exactly where it is coming from. Determining the cause of a toothache is even trickier. Before you call an emergency dentist, consider these five common causes of toothaches to work out which one might be causing your pain.
1. Thin Enamel
If you experience toothache when eating very hot or cold foods, like ice cream or hot soup, thinning enamel could be to blame. Enamel is a hard material that coats your teeth to protect them from decay. When the enamel starts to thin, the nerves inside the teeth are exposed to stimuli such as heat and cold, which can be painful. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth could help to reduce the pain, but you should still see your dentist to find out whether you need treatment to improve the strength of your enamel.
Cavities are a common cause of toothache. These occur when acids produced by bacteria dissolve enamel, creating a hole in the tooth. If you notice pain developing in one of your teeth, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. When cavities are caught early, they can be treated with fillings, but more advanced cavities may require root canal treatment.
3. A Cracked Tooth
If your toothache started when you bit down hard on something, it could be a sign of a cracked or broken tooth. This kind of toothache is often severe. You should see an emergency dentist as soon as possible to restore the tooth.
If your pain is throbbing and severe, you could have an infection in the tooth or gum. Look out for other signs of infection, should as pus, swelling, and redness in the gums. Infections need to be treated quickly with antibiotics to prevent them from swelling, so don't delay booking an appointment with your emergency dentist.
5. Sinus Pain
Sometimes a pain that feels like a toothache actually originates from another part of your anatomy. Sinus pain often radiates through to the upper rear molars, causing you to suspect a dental cause for the pain. Sinus infections often develop after a cold. They typically resolve without treatment, but some stubborn infections require antibiotics to clear. While you wait for your sinus infection to get better, you can treat your symptoms by drinking plenty of water and breathing steam into your nose to clear your sinuses.