Health and medicine

What are the causes of toothache?

What are the causes of toothache?
It takes approx. 2 minutes to read this article

If you are experiencing a toothache, it can be a very uncomfortable and painful experience. At JadeKaur Dental, they understand the importance of understanding the causes of toothache, so that you can find the best treatment for your unique situation.

Dental caries

Dental caries, also known as tooth decay or cavities, is one of the most common causes of toothache. This condition occurs when bacteria in the mouth turn to sugar and starch into acid, which can break down the protective enamel on your teeth. Without the protective enamel, bacteria can enter the inner layers of the tooth, causing inflammation and pain. Signs and symptoms of dental caries include a dull, persistent ache, sensitivity to hot and cold foods, a visible hole or pit in the tooth, and discoloration of the tooth. It is important to get any cavities filled in order to protect the rest of your tooth from further decay. Treatment for dental caries typically involves drilling and filling the affected area. If left untreated, dental caries can lead to more serious dental issues such as pulpitis, an infection of the pulp inside the tooth.


Periodontitis is an infection of the gums that can cause toothache. It is caused by a bacterial infection that affects the structures supporting the teeth, such as the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. This bacterial infection causes inflammation and the destruction of these supporting structures, leading to periodontal pocket formation. In advanced cases, the supporting structures are destroyed to the point where the teeth become loose and may need to be extracted. Symptoms include pain, redness, and swelling in the gums, as well as bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Treatment for periodontitis typically involves a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, to remove any plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line. 


Toothache can have a variety of causes, including dental caries, periodontitis, teething, pulpitis, sinusitis, and dental abscess. While some of these causes may require medical treatment, others can be managed through regular dental care and at-home remedies. It is important to consult with a dentist if the toothache persists for more than two days or becomes more severe. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can help to reduce discomfort and prevent further complications.

Main photo: Engin Akyurt/

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