What causes a toothache?

Toothaches are normally caused by natural tooth decay, but only a thorough oral examination by a professional like Dr. Dholakiya can determine the cause. Other common causes of toothaches include:  

  • Infection
  • Gum disease
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Trauma to teeth
  • Abnormal bite
  • Tooth eruption (specifically in babies and young children)

Certain joint disorders, sinus and ear infections, and tension in the facial muscles can cause pain resembling a toothache. These conditions usually include headache-like symptoms as well.

A toothache could mean you have a cavity or advanced gum disease. Also, if the nerves and tissues of the pulp inside your tooth become irritated, they can cause the pain of a toothache.

What are common symptoms?

Since toothache symptoms are similar to those of other medical and dental conditions, make sure to see Dr. Dholakiya if you experience the following symptoms to get a proper diagnosis:  

  • Fever
  • Strained breathing and swallowing
  • Swelling around the affected tooth
  • Pain from biting
  • A foul-tasting discharge
  • Continuous lasting pain

If you notice pus near the affected tooth, this might indicate that your tooth is abscessed, which causes the surrounding bone to get infected. The pus could also indicate that you have gum disease, which usually manifests in inflammation of soft tissue, bleeding gums, and loss of bone around the teeth.

How can Dr. Dholakiya help?

Dr. Dholakiya performs a thorough oral examination to determine the location and specific cause of a toothache, paying special attention to signs of swelling, redness and glaring tooth damage. She may also decide to take X-rays to look for evidence of tooth decay between teeth, signs of a cracked or impacted tooth or a disorder of the underlying bone.

If necessary, Dr. Dholakiya also prescribes pain medication or antibiotics to relieve pain and speed up the healing of your toothache. It’s imperative for you to see Dr. Dholakiya as soon as you notice symptoms. If you wait too long, your tooth could become infected, meaning that treatment could require tooth removal or a root canal procedure.

How can I prevent toothaches?

The best way to stave off toothaches is to stick to a comprehensive oral hygiene routine. Failure to brush and floss regularly, especially after meals, can increase your chances of developing conditions like cavities that can cause toothaches greatly.  

Here are some helpful tips from Dr. Dholakiya to help lessen your chances of developing toothaches:

  • Always brush at least twice a day, particularly after meals and snacks
  • Floss at least once a day, this helps prevent gum disease
  • Schedule regular oral examinations and professional cleanings

Why Choose Dr. Payal Dholakiya?

Dr. Payal Dholakia, DDS

Toothaches are fairly common but can lead to infection if left untreated. If you’re suffering from the pain of a toothache, make an appointment to see Dr. Payal Dholakiya at Orange Coast Endodontics in Irvine, California for instant pain relief and a diagnosis. She can help determine the cause of pain and prescribe medication, or figure out if something more serious is causing your pain that requires additional treatment.

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