Most Common Causes of a Toothache

Categories: General Dentistry


You’re just going through your daily routine when, suddenly, it hits: tooth pain. It might be a dull ache, a steady throb, or a sharp, stabbing bolt of agony. By any name, tooth pain can have a major impact on you and your day-to-day life. It can affect your ability to eat and even impede your ability to function. If you’re living with a toothache, you should seek care from an experienced Scotts Valley dentist. In this article, Drs. Max and Ariana Ebrahimian explore some of the most common causes of tooth pain.

  • Tooth decay

The vast majority of toothaches stem from an area of tooth decay, or cavity. A cavity is a small hole that forms in your tooth, usually due to poor oral hygiene. A cavity will become larger with time, so prompt treatment is vital. At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we can remove a cavity and repair the damage to the tooth by installing a metal-free filling.

  • Abscess

Sometimes, an infection develops in the soft interior structure of a tooth–also known as dental pulp. This infection can stem from a cavity that infiltrates your tooth exterior, some sort of trauma to the tooth, or a broken dental restoration. Whatever the reason, an abscess often causes excruciating tooth pain and could even threaten your life if the infection filters into your bloodstream, potentially causing organ failure or sepsis. We can perform a root canal to treat an abscess.

  • Wisdom teeth

Sometimes, identifying the location of tooth pain can help determine the cause. If you’re feeling pain from teeth at the back of your mouth–either on the top or the bottom–the culprit could be wisdom teeth that are trying to emerge from the gum line. Wisdom teeth, also known as “third molars”, are a set of four teeth that usually emerge when a person is in their late teens or early twenties. Wisdom teeth often become impacted when they try to emerge; in other words, there is not enough room in his mouth, which places pressure on the existing teeth in your mouth and leads to pain. Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry can perform an extraction to remove these impacted wisdom teeth.

  • Injury

Physical trauma is a common reason for a toothache. You may sustain a blow or impact to the face or mouth that breaks a tooth or leads to dental avulsion–completely knocking out a tooth from its socket. If you experience a dental injury, you need to schedule an appointment with your Los Gatos dentist as soon as possible to repair the damage. Until you can see your dentist, follow this regimen of care:

For a broken tooth, tape gauze or a piece of chewing gum over the edge so that the jagged point does not lacerate your mouth or tongue
For a tooth that got knocked out, place it in a solution composed of milk and saliva until your dental appointment

Dental Care in Los Gatos, Scotts Valley, and Santa Cruz, California

Don’t let tooth pain disrupt your day-to-day life. Prompt care from an experienced dental professional can address the source of the pain, alleviate your discomfort, and let you get back to your normal routine. We are a full-service dental practice that can provide for many of your needs, including all of the common causes of a toothache. Make your appointment today by calling (831) 438-4411 or contact us online.