What Causes Toothaches?

A toothache is hard to ignore. It can radiate pain through your whole face, and make it hard to eat or even drink. What causes this pain? It could be something relatively minor or very serious. For this reason, it’s very important to see a dentist on a regular basis and take care of your teeth and gums at home. 

Tooth sensitivity

Teeth are not like blocks of stone sitting in your mouth, they have nerves inside of them. These nerves can be sensitive to heat extremes, and some people are more sensitive than others. If your teeth hurt after biting into ice cream, it’s probably sensitivity. If you have thin enamel, your teeth might be extra sensitive. 

Tooth decay

If a toothache is persistent, it is most likely because you have a cavity. At first, cavities don’t hurt, but as the decay gets deeper into the tooth, it starts hitting the nerves. Tooth decay is caused by plaque and tartar, which is just hardened plaque. Plaque eats the sugar left behind by food particles, creating acid that breaks down teeth. If you don’t take care of your teeth, decay sets in, and so does pain.  


There’s pulp inside your teeth, which is where the nerves reside. That pulp can actually become inflamed if decay gets really bad, or the tooth is traumatized in some way. Inflammation causes sensitivity and pain. 

Gum disease

Disease in your gums causes toothache, since the gums are where your teeth live. If you don’t take care of your teeth and your gums, the gums get inflamed and sore. This can lead to gum diseases like gingivitis. Eventually, this can cause infection and even bone loss. A lot of people neglect flossing, but it’s really important for your gum health, so commit to the routine.