4 Types of Toothaches and What They Mean

When famous American poet, Ogden Nash humorously expressed, “Some tortures are physical and some are mental, But the one that is both is dental”, we all nodded in a collective agreement. There are few things as painful and harrowing as toothaches. Ranging from a dull pain with a vague origin to a constant sharp throbbing, toothaches can bring even the most muscular men onto their quivering knees.

Roughly 91 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 have been reported to have some degree of tooth decay. Another dental survey of U.S. dental offices found that one in eight people have over-sensitive teeth. What these figures bring to light is that almost everyone in the country would benefit from a trip to the dentist every six months.

The best way for you to know the exact cause of your toothache is to visit your dentist for a routine oral examination and x-rays. Regardless, some types of dental pain are distinctive and can present with some particular characteristics. Read on to learn the four most common types of toothaches and what they mean.

1. Dull, persistent ache

This is the most common type of toothache pain, in which the feeling of pressure may not be necessarily painful but disruptive enough to be irritating. You may feel a prolonged unpleasantness in your mouth without an easily deducible origin.

The following issues may be the source of this type of tooth pain:

● Something stuck in your gums

● Something lodged between your teeth

● Impacted wisdom teeth

● Teeth grinding and clenching

● Abscessed tooth

2. Sensitivity to hot and cold

Dental sensitivity is common and may or may not be a serious issue. By paying attention to the pain triggers, you can extrapolate the reason for this pain. Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a wide range of dental ailments, commonly involving cracked or fractured teeth. If the pain is minor and fleeting, it is most likely a result of worn-down enamel. However, it can also be attributed to tooth decay, exposed roots, worn fillings, and gum disease.

If you whiten your teeth regularly, you may be a frequent victim of sensitive teeth and gums. In this case, you should stay away from whitening products until your tooth sensitivity has toned down.

3. Sharp, throbbing pain

Anytime you experience a sharp, throbbing pain in your teeth, it is a sign that infection has set in and will most likely necessitate a dental appointment. The pain will be present whether you’re eating something or just relaxing at the end of a long day. This type of toothache usually indicates that a filling is loose or a crown has fallen off. Whatever the case may be, the pain is often excruciating and disruptive, which is why you should visit your dentist immediately to be able to identify the problem and subsequently relieve the pain.

4. Constant aching in one tooth

If you can pinpoint the exact tooth that is causing you pain, you are very much likely to be needing a root canal. Due to a grossly decayed tooth, the ingress of bacteria takes place in the innermost portion of the tooth. This tissue is known as the pulp and houses the nerves, blood vessels, connective tissue, and any living tissue that makes up the tooth. Once the bacteria pools in this area, the nerve endings are triggered, eliciting pain.

Your dentist will perform an examination of your oral cavity to determine what is causing you pain. If you’re in prompt need of treatment, your dentist will assist you in taking the necessary steps to conserve the pain and relieve it as soon as possible. Suffering from an agonizing toothache? Don’t suffer in silence! Contact your dentist today!