What are the Different Types of Toothaches, and What Do They Mean?

Toothaches can be extremely painful and disruptive to daily activities. If you are experiencing some sort of pain in your mouth, you may be wondering what it means. Continue reading to learn about the different types of toothaches and what they mean.

In many cases, the cause of a toothache is tooth decay - otherwise known as a cavity. The tooth is protected by a durable outer layer known as the enamel; beneath the enamel are the more vulnerable layers of dentin, pulp, and the central nerve of the tooth.

The enamel is strong, but it can become damaged and erode from extensive contact with bacteria and harmful acids or sugars. This is how decay forms. Once the central nerve is exposed even just a bit, you will begin to feel pain or sensitivity to hot or cold.

If you have been told you have tooth decay (or a cavity), have no fear; your dentist will remove the decay from the tooth and fill it back up with a composite material that matches the shade of your natural teeth.

  • Tooth Fracture

In some cases, biting down on something hard or experiencing blunt-force trauma may cause your tooth to chip or crack. In some cases, the crack or chip may expose the sensitive central nerve of the tooth, leading to pain or sensitivity. While this sensation may not be too serious at first, it is likely to worsen over time if not properly treated. 

The treatment that is used to treat a tooth fracture depends on the severity of the fracture itself. Some patients may be able to restore the tooth with a simple filling, while other patients may require a root canal or even a tooth extraction. Your dentist will conduct an examination to help you determine which type of treatment you need.

  • Sensitivity

If you are experiencing sensitivity to hot or cold, it is likely that your central nerve has become exposed. This could be the result of decay or damage. 

Depending on the severity of the issue, your dentist may choose to restore your tooth with a filling, root canal, or dental crown. In cases in which the decay is extensive, you may be recommended for a tooth extraction.

To help protect against future sensitivity, you can use desensitizing toothpaste and ensure that you are maintaining proper home care.

  • Wisdom Teeth

Your wisdom teeth are your third molars - they typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Sometimes, the wisdom teeth become impacted or erupt into the mouth in a way that causes them to collide with the other molars. This can be extremely painful, causing the patient to experience pressure and pain in their jaw.

Wisdom tooth removal is a simple and efficient surgery that ensures the complete removal of the wisdom teeth. This helps eliminate any pressure or pain you may be feeling and helps you avoid this pain in the future.

  • Damaged Filling

If you have a pre-existing filling inside the mouth that has fallen out, become damaged, or has developed decay beneath it, it is likely that you are experiencing pain or sensitivity. 

Your dentist will conduct an examination to determine the root cause of the pain. If the filling has simply been lost or has minor damage, it will be replaced. If there is decay that has developed beneath the filling, the existing filling will need to be removed. The new decay will be removed as well. In some cases, you may be recommended to restore the tooth with a root canal and crown rather than a new filling. If the decay is extensive and the tooth can not be restored, you may be recommended to remove the tooth altogether.

  • Gum Disease

Gum disease is the advanced stage that follows gingivitis. It occurs when there are large amounts of bacteria present in the mouth - both above and below the gum line. Over time, the bacteria begin to eat away at both the bone and gum tissues, causing the patient to experience:

  • Loose teeth
  • Gum/bone recession
  • Pain, swelling, or bleeding in the gums
  • Tooth loss
  • Bad breath

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort due to gum disease, your dentist will get you planned for gum disease treatment. Once gum disease develops, it can not be reversed, but it can be prevented from progressing with proper care. In order to treat gum disease, you will be scheduled for deep dental cleanings - known clinically as scaling and root planings. 

During a deep cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will work to remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. In many cases, once the mouth has been thoroughly cleaned, antibiotics will then be placed beneath the gums to discourage future bacterial growth. 

Most gum disease patients return to have their cleanings done every three months rather than the typical six-month gap between appointments; this allows the dentist and dental hygienist to keep a close eye on the condition and ensure that is not able to worsen.

FY Smile: Best Dentist in Sydney

With the information you have learned here, you will be able to take a well-informed approach to treat your toothache.

Here at FY Smile, we take pride in helping our patients maintain beautiful and healthy smiles; that’s why we proudly offer comprehensive restorative and preventative dental care.

If you are in the Double Bay area and searching for the “best dentist in Sydney”, search no longer. For the most comprehensive general dental care in Sydney, place your trust in FY Smile.

Your journey towards the beautiful smile of your dreams starts here. In addition to offering comprehensive dental and orthodontic treatment options in Sydney, FY Smile is proud to operate as an official Digital Smile Design Clinic. Our team of experts will work with you to design a beautiful smile that naturally complements your features and provides you with priceless confidence.

For more information about the different types of toothaches and what they mean or to get scheduled in our Double Bay dental office, give us a call anytime at 02 8319 5557.


Topics: dental anxiety