What Are the Most Common Causes of Toothaches?

What Are the Most Common Causes of Toothaches?

Toothaches are one of the most common reasons that people visit their dentists. The pain caused by a toothache can range from mild aching to intense throbbing that interferes with your daily activities. Before your dentist determines the best way to provide you with some relief, he or she will need to diagnose the cause of your pain. There are many different potential causes for toothaches. Here is a look at some of the most common.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is an extremely common issue that occurs in nearly 80% of adults in the US. Decay is usually the result of a build-up of plaque that contains acids, which eat away at your enamel. In its easy stages, you may not know that you’re experiencing tooth decay. As it progresses, however, it is likely to become painful. Having a good oral hygiene routine and getting regular dental check-ups are good ways to reduce the likelihood that you’ll experience decay. If tooth decay is causing your toothache, your dentist may recommend a filling or a root canal, depending on the severity. 


An abscessed tooth is one of the most painful causes of a toothache. An abscess occurs when a pocket of pus grows in or around your tooth in response to a bacterial infection. It can happen as a result of tooth decay, gum disease, a broken or chipped tooth, poor oral hygiene, or certain medications and health conditions. This kind of toothache tends to cause sharp, shooting pain that is intense and spreads to the jaw. Because abscesses can spread infection throughout the body, it’s important to call your dentist right away if you think you may have one. 

Teeth Grinding

People who grind their teeth are much more likely than others to experience toothaches. You may realize your grind your teeth during the day, or you may be unaware that you grind your teeth when sleeping. Your dentist can often tell if you grind your teeth during an exam and can recommend a mouthguard to protect your teeth and reduce your tooth pain. 

Don’t suffer with any type of toothache. John R. Carson, DDS, PC, can diagnose the cause of your discomfort and help you get the relief you need. Make an appointment with our dentist in Tucson by calling (520) 514-7203.