The Various Causes of Toothaches

The term toothache is a general one, applied to any sense of discomfort we may experience from our teeth. Throbbing, sharp, or achy pain are all words used to describe this experience by patients, and it can be severe enough to make chewing, speaking, and even concentrating difficult. In severe cases, it can make it difficult or impossible to sleep. In some cases, patients who have otherwise exceptional dental health may suffer from certain types of tooth pain.


By far, the most common source of dental pain is having a cavity in your tooth. Cavities are caused when poor dental hygiene, weak enamel from genetics, or other factors result in pits or holes in the enamel of your teeth. Minor cavities may not cause any symptoms at all, but once they get large enough to compromise the nerves in your teeth, they can become excruciating.

Loss Of A Filling

If you’ve had a dental repair done before, it can be painful if that repair becomes compromised. Losing a filling leaves a hole in your tooth that exposes the delicate dentin, and creates a place where food can become lodged after eating. Pressure from lodged food, temperature differences, and acid from sodas or acidic food can all cause you to experience pain in a previously repaired tooth. Thankfully there’s an easy fix for this; you just have to see your dentist have the filling replaced.

You Might Be Experiencing Bruxism

Bruxism is the term for tooth grinding. This subconscious behavior happens most commonly at night, with patients experiencing the condition waking with sore, aching jaws, and sensitive teeth. The most common kind of dental pain experienced by patients with Bruxism is a shooting pain that happens when they bite down during the day. Clenching your jaws can also cause these concerns, and is most often the result of stress.

Exercise Is Good For You, to A Point

While exercise is great for your body and mind, it can also lead to some serious concerns for your teeth. Research has revealed that those who exercise frequently and intensely often experience issues with dental erosion. The cause is largely unknown but is suspected to be related to a lack of saliva caused by heavy respiration when exercising. Saliva dries out easily but also helps to protect your teeth from erosion if you spend an hour or more working out intensely each day you should be sure to hydrate thoroughly.

If you have more questions about tooth pain and what may be causing your discomfort, make a call to Bethesda Family Dentistry today. Dr. Deborah Trabb helps patients in the Bethesda, MD area develop healthy habits and treat dental concerns to ensure a lifetime of good oral health. When you call, you’ll be scheduled for an appointment that will include a full dental exam and intake, and will end with a consultation on the next best steps for preventing or treating dental pain and any other existing conditions. Don’t let tooth pain distract you from living your life to the fullest, call today to get it treated!

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