Have you ever distracted yourself from thinking about aching muscles after a good workout or other uncomfortable physical sensations? If so, you know aching teeth rarely fall into that category. No matter how hard you try to distract yourself, it feels impossible to think about anything else! What often makes them even worse, are the thoughts you have about going to the dentist. Will you need drilling, a new filling, or even a root canal?

Don’t fret yet! It may be comforting to know that not all cavities are the cause of toothaches. Although a cavity might be the culprit, there are actually a number of other things that could be going on …


Receding Gums

Did you know that brushing too hard can lead to gum recession, which then causes pain? This is even more likely when using a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush. If you’re over-zealous in your brushing routine, you could be setting yourself up for a painful mouth. By wearing away at the structure of your teeth, and causing gums to recede, roots become exposed to air. Exposed roots will increase sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks. If you fall into this category, consider switching out your toothbrush for an extra-soft bristled brush.

If you’ve already damaged your gums, don’t panic. Your dentist can help with fillings that match your teeth and protect their roots. If the damage is more severe, it’s possible to have gum grafts done to rebuild your gums.


Gum Infection

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between aching teeth and sore, infected gums. Though periodontal disease is one common cause, a gum infection can also be the culprit. If you have painful, swollen gums, notice pus, or a bad taste in your mouth, it’s time to see your dentist for immediate help. Letting it go can lead to an abscess, which is something you definitely do not want to experience!


A Cracked Tooth

Cracked teeth can happen for many reasons, such as biting down on something hard, excessive teeth grinding, or an injury to the face. If the crack is on one of your front teeth, you may be able to see it in the mirror. If it’s further back, it can become hidden. See your dentist ASAP before it gets worse. A cracked tooth can lead to losing your tooth.


Sinus Problems

A bad sinus infection can also cause tooth pain. Since the roots of certain teeth sit very close to the sinuses, sinus pain can actually mimic a toothache. If your sinuses are the culprit, you may need an antibiotic to clear up the infection.


Tooth Sensitivity

Thinning enamel is another possibility for tooth sensitivity. Toothpaste made for sensitive teeth, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and a gentler brushing technique can often be a remedy.


The moral to the story of aching teeth?

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, try switching to a softer brush or a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. If the pain continues, pick up the phone and call your dentist to schedule an appointment. They will be able to find the cause and have it fixed before the problem becomes serious. When it comes to tooth pain, it’s always best to play it safe and get the advice of your dentist!



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