toothache 4Determining the cause behind a toothache can be very important to your oral health. In some cases, toothaches are nothing more than fleeting sensitivities. In other cases, however, they can be a symptom of a serious oral health problem. How, then, can you tell the difference? Toothaches will often have slightly different characteristics depending upon what causes them. By understanding what these characteristics mean, you can often discern the cause of your toothache. However, if you are unsure whether or not your toothache is serious, it is a good idea to visit your Brighton dentist, Dr. Thomas Villani, for a professional opinion.

What Causes Toothaches?

A variety of factors can cause a tooth to ache. Several common causes and their distinguishing characteristics are listed below.

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding). Bruxism may occur for prolonged periods of time without a person’s knowledge because it is largely an unconscious habit. Oftentimes, bruxism will occur during sleep, remaining undiscovered until a dental professional notices signs of wear on a person’s teeth. Bruxism may cause toothaches because of the extreme force teeth must withstand when they are forced to scrape against one another. Bruxism-related toothaches tend to linger for several days before fading and then reappearing. They are often most severe in the morning.
  • An abscessed tooth. Sometimes when a tooth becomes infected because of extensive decay, an abscess will form around the infection. Abscessed teeth can be very painful, and the abscess must be removed through root canal therapy if the tooth is to be saved. In addition to persistent pain, other common symptoms of abscessed teeth include sensitivity to pressure as well as hot and cold temperatures.
  • Food particles. Many toothaches are the result of food particles becoming wedged between teeth. A toothache of this type can be relieved simply by removing the irritant through flossing or rinsing the mouth.
  • Structural damage. If your tooth cracks, you may be unable to see the actual damage. However, you are sure to feel its presence. In addition to lingering pain, you may feel a sharp jolt when you bite.

About Brighton Family Dental Group: Brighton Family Dental Group is located in Brighton MA. Featuring experienced dentists and an excellent range of in-office treatments, Brighton Family Dental Group is a great destination for any member of your family who is in need of dental care. Patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation with Dr. Thomas Villani by calling (617) 562-5210.