What Causes a Toothache?

General Dentist Honolulu, HI

A toothache is pain that often occurs in or around a person’s tooth. Most times, tooth pain is a sign that there is a problem with either your tooth or gums. But sometimes, the pain may be due to a problem elsewhere in your body. Keep reading to find out some common causes of a toothache.


A toothache may be caused by several problems, including tooth decay, tooth fracture, or abscessed tooth. Signs and symptoms of a toothache may include tooth pain that may be constant, sharp, or throbbing, fever, or headache. Some people only experience pain when pressure is applied to a tooth. Other symptoms include swelling around the tooth or a bad taste or smell in the mouth.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common reasons for toothache or tooth pain. If a person does not seek medical attention, tooth decay may eventually lead to cavities. Cavities happen when bacteria and acids break through the enamel and eventually eat away at the tissues inside the tooth. This may end up exposing the nerve and causing pain.

Treatment for a cavity often depends on how bad it is. In some cases, a dentist may opt to treat a cavity with a filling. This treatment option often helps to prevent further damage to the tooth. Fillings are usually made of a variety of materials, including composite resin, porcelain, amalgam, or gold.

Abscessed tooth and sinus infection

A dental abscess is basically an infection in the tooth’s pulp, and it should be treated as soon as possible. Pain and swelling are common symptoms of a tooth abscess. Sometimes, a toothache may be accompanied by a headache and congestion. These symptoms may indicate a sinus infection. In some cases, over-the-counter medications can aid in alleviating the problem. But if the medications do not help, a patient may need to see a medical practitioner.

Cracked or broken tooth

A cracked tooth often causes tooth pain and sensitivity. Although most people know when they have a broken or cracked tooth, there may not be initial visible signs. However, if a person experiences sharp or severe pain when eating or chewing, it could be a sign that a tooth may have experienced trauma or injury. Another symptom of a cracked tooth is swelling of the gums. It is vital to seek treatment for a broken tooth as soon as possible. If the tooth cannot be repaired, the general dentist will recommend an appropriate tooth-replacement option.

When to see a dentist

A toothache can have a lot of causes, including tooth decay. When a person experiences pain in the mouth, it is often advisable to see a dental professional. Ignoring the problem may lead to the development of other serious problems. It is much easier to treat tooth pain before it becomes a serious issue. You should see your dentist as soon as possible if you have a toothache that lasts for more than one or two days. You should also visit the dental office right away if your toothache is severe or you have a fever.

Request an appointment here: https://www.diamondheaddentalcare.com or call Diamond Head Dental Care at (808) 450-2101 for an appointment in our Honolulu office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Toothache in Honolulu, HI.

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