What is a Toothache Trying to Tell You?

What is a Toothache Trying to Tell You?
What is a Toothache Trying to Tell You?

A toothache can be a very unpleasant experience. The throbbing, the sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and the constant worry about when it might strike again can all conspire to make you dread going to bed or even thinking about your teeth. However, in its own weird way, a toothache can actually be a sign that your teeth are trying to tell you something. If you think of your mouth as being like the cockpit of an airplane (and you probably should), then dentistry is like a warning light that alerts you to potential problems. Here we’ll take a look at some common causes of toothache and what they might be trying to tell you.

Dental Decay

If you have a toothache at the back of your mouth, particularly if you have sensitive teeth, you may have dental decay. While decay, also known as caries, is a common cause of toothache, it is not the most common cause. If a tooth has decay, it will be infected and will be causing pain.

If you have sensitive teeth, it is important to visit your dentist as you may be at risk of dental decay. If you see a sign of dental decay in your mouth, you will need treatment to remove the infection and prevent further damage to the tooth. If you believe you have dental decay, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible.

According to Altamonte Dental Care, a dentist in Altamonte Springs, “dental decay can progress quickly and can cause a lot of damage to the teeth and surrounding tissues. Treatment for dental decay includes a professional cleaning, a fluoride treatment, antibiotics, and a prescription for toothpaste that contains fluoride.”


Bruxism is an involuntary grinding of the teeth. It can be a very painful problem and can cause considerable damage to the teeth, especially the enamel. It can also be a very noisy problem, causing your partner to be woken up by the sound of your grinding if it is bad enough. Badly fitting dentures can also cause this problem. In both cases, a toothache could be a symptom of bruxism. So if you have grinding pain which is not caused by a dental problem like decay, it is worth seeing a dentist. If you grind your teeth and have a toothache, you should see your dentist. There are treatments available for bruxism, including a custom-made retainer, which can be worn at night to stop the grinding.


Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems can cause toothache, but it is not always the case. If you have a toothache on one side of your face, particularly if the pain is worse when you open and close your mouth, you may have TMJ. Treatment varies depending on the root cause of the problem. Your dentist may refer you to a physiotherapist, a chiropractor, or a craniosacral therapist. If you have a toothache on one side of your face and you think it could be TMJ, you should see your dentist. Your dentist will be able to refer you to the appropriate professional for diagnosis and treatment.

Bad Breath

Bad breath can be caused by a variety of factors, one of which is gum disease. If you have a toothache on one side of your mouth and bad breath, you may have periodontal disease. Bad breath is usually a sign that the gums are infected. The infection can enter the bloodstream and cause toothache. If you have a toothache on one side of your mouth and bad breath, you should see your dentist. Your dentist will likely take a swab from your gum and send it to the lab to check for gum disease. If the test comes back positive for gum disease, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics. In some cases, the infection may have spread to the rest of the mouth and may require injections into the gums.

Tips to Remedy a Toothache Until You Can Get Seen

Here are a few options to help ease a toothache until you can get seen:

  • Over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to reduce the pain of a toothache.
  • Eating soft foods like boiled potatoes and yogurt can help you feel fuller while also helping ease your discomfort.
  • Try sucking on an ice cube to numb the pain.
  • Drinking tea and coffee may make you breathe out more, which might make your breath seem less bad.

Visit your dentist as soon as possible. There are many dental problems that can cause a toothache, and they can all be treated if caught early.

Never Ignore a Toothache

Dental health is something that is often overlooked, but it is imperative that you take care of your teeth. If you don’t, you could end up paying a lot more in dental bills in the long run. Make sure to brush and floss regularly, and if you have any pain or concerns, make sure to visit the dentist.

If you have dental pain, the best thing to do is to contact your dentist. If you ignore the pain and leave it untreated, you may end up losing the tooth.

I'm NOT a doctor! I'm just passionate about health and healthy leaving. The information on this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The content is not intended to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition.