While there are numerous reasons for your teeth to hurt, some of which are not even-dental related, the discomfort is never benign and should not be ignored. However, treating a toothache depends first on determining its cause. To help you learn why your tooth is giving you trouble, Encinitas periodontist Dr. Ann Kania explains some of the more common causes behind a toothache.
Common Toothache Causes
- Cavities—Cavities are the small holes that form in your tooth as decay eats away at its structure. Directly underneath your enamel is the softer portion of your tooth called dentin, whose surface contains tubules that lead back to your tooth’s pulp (home of the nerves and blood vessels). When decay exposes this tissue, or the pulp itself, discomfort can spring at the slightest irritation, such as sweets, hot and cold temperatures.
- Periodontal Disease—Although periodontal disease affects your gum tissue, it can also lead to tooth sensitivity by exposing sensitive parts of your teeth. Your teeth’s roots, which extend below the gums and are secured in your jawbone, are not protected by enamel. When your gums recede, such as with the onset of gum disease, these roots become exposed and may be sensitive to food debris, bacteria, and other irritants.
- Sinusitis—When your sinuses are infected, the inconvenience can hog your attention. Unless, however, something more inconvenient distracts you. Your largest sinuses, called the maxillary sinuses, are located in your cheeks just above the roots of your upper teeth. When these sinuses swell from infection, the inflammation can place pressure on these tooth roots, causing them to ache.
- Altitude—If you’ve flown or gone deep-sea diving recently, the sudden changes in altitude may also be a factor for tooth discomfort. Much like when your ears pop, your teeth have to adjust for sudden changes in barometric pressure. Unlike your ears, though, your teeth do not expand to compensate for the tension, which can lead to excruciating sensitivity.
Periodontal Therapy in Encinitas
To learn more, contact Dr. Kania at our Encinitas periodontal care office by calling (706) 642-0711. We serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.