What is Causing My Toothache?

July 6, 2022
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You may experience a toothache in Issaquah every once in a while. This pain can mean many conditions. Only a visit to a dentist in Issaquah can shed light on what is causing your discomfort.

woman suffering a toothache in Issaquah

What Could Cause Toothaches?

Below are four oral health issues that toothaches may be a symptom of. Be sure to contact your dentist if you're experiencing dental pain.

Gum Infection

Gingivitis sets in when too much plaque settles on the gums and nearby teeth. Plaque is a thin film that encourages bacterial growth. The microorganisms will start attacking the tooth's roots if it settles on the gums. This triggers a gingival recession and exposes "pockets" that the microbes can further exploit.  

As the infection worsens, the teeth become more sensitive and painful when chewing or drinking cold drinks. The pain may also signify loose teeth due to bone structure and gum damage at the advanced stages of gum disease or periodontitis. The only way to reverse gum disease at this point is to seek out oral surgery.

Tooth Decay or Cavities

Cavities are also a result of plaque, but this time it settles on the outer dental shell called the enamel. As with gingivitis, bacteria will start to eat away at the tooth covering unless the plaque is removed. Dental caries, another name for tooth decay, do not have any symptoms at the early stage. However, pain starts to manifest as the damage becomes deeper.  

Teeth can become sensitive due to oral cavities. If the shell breaks up and the bacteria reaches deep into the pulp, they can damage the nerves and cause an intense toothache.  

Wisdom Tooth Impaction

Dental pain may also be caused by an impacted wisdom tooth. Third molars grow later than other teeth and find little to no space to erupt. As a result, they may grow at odd angles, possibly leaning against the second molar. The abnormal positioning exerts pressure on neighboring teeth, causing a dull pain.  

In some cases, wisdom teeth are difficult to clean and become infected with bacteria. The resulting tooth decay results in abscesses and excruciating pain. Dentists recommend extraction and surgery if an impacted wisdom tooth causes pain and infection to spare other teeth.  

Dental Pulp Infection

Dental pulp infection is a complication of oral cavities. The pulp is the innermost layer of the tooth and contains all the tissues and nerve endings. It also nourishes the root and forms the dentin – the second layer of the teeth that supports the enamel. Without the pulp, the teeth become prone to breaking.  
As mentioned earlier, dental caries can extend into the pulp and cause inflammation. This causes pain and swelling and requires attention from the dentist. You must not allow pulpitis to aggravate because the infection can spread to other parts of your face. The bacteria may even find their way to the bloodstream and the brain.

a woman with a toothache in Issaquah visiting the dentist

See Your Dentist If You Experience a Toothache in Issaquah

The root of dental pain can only be diagnosed by a dentist. Visit your dentist in Issaquah now if you're experiencing a toothache, regardless of the severity. A timely checkup can help prevent severe repercussions that will otherwise develop. Contact us now and set an appointment.

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