Why Do My Teeth Hurt? Gumchuck’s Guide on How to Get Rid of a Toothache

Feb 7, 2024

Have you ever bitten into a delicious sandwich to suddenly be greeted with a sharp pain emanating from your tooth? You may think, how can I have a toothache when I floss and brush twice a day? Unfortunately, toothaches can develop in anyone’s mouth, although practicing healthy oral habits will dramatically reduce the likelihood. To understand how to treat your oral pain, first it’s important to know what causes and symptoms define toothaches.

Symptoms of Toothaches 

Toothaches can gradually grow in pain or simply start all at once. Additionally, the pain experienced from toothaches can exist on a large spectrum from mild to very severe. Painful oral symptoms may come and go, or they can be constant and debilitating. Before diagnosing any specific causes, let’s explore the vast range of symptoms that one may experience when a toothache arises:

  • Pain when you bite into food.
  • Swollen gums in the affected area.
  • Continuous pain, even when you’re not biting into food.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • A foul taste in the mouth which comes from the affected tooth.
  • Oral sensitivity to cold or hot foods and drinks.
  • A headache.
  • A fever.
  • Halitosis, or bad breath.

Even if you’re just experiencing a mild throbbing or tender sensation emitting from a tooth, it’s likely that this may evolve to become a painful toothache if left untreated. 

Why Do My Teeth Hurt? Causes of Toothaches

There are many reasons why people develop tooth pain, all of which should be diagnosed by a dental professional. Generally, a toothache occurs when the pulp of the tooth becomes inflamed in a process which impacts the nerve endings. This painful experience can be the cause of several oral problems, such as:

  • Cavities: A cavity forms from oral negligence that eventually turns into tooth decay. Caused by bacteria that lives in the plaque on your teeth and gums, tooth decay leads to gingivitis and, eventually, gum disease. If left unchecked, a small cavity gradually grows larger to eventually become a hole in your tooth. From this point, an untreated cavity can cause an infection in your bones and spread to other parts of your body. Click here to read our article on cavities.
  • Onset of Wisdom Teeth: On average, about 65% of the population is born with wisdom teeth that are typically removed between the ages of 17 and 25. Wisdom teeth are commonly removed because they can shift and damage the rest of your teeth, which may be a painful process that can be mistaken for a toothache. Click here to read our article on wisdom teeth.
  • Bruxism: Bruxism, being the chronic habit of clenching and grinding your teeth, is an undesirable habit that often leads to toothaches. While stress, anger, and anxiety can all result in someone to develop bruxism, many suffers unknowingly grind their teeth in their sleep. If the habit persists, bruxism can result in significantly degraded oral health and painful oral issues. Click here to read our article on bruxism.
  • Tooth Abscess: A tooth abscess is a painful infection that can occur in your tooth, the surrounding gums, or down in the jawbone. Depending on the stage the abscess is in, it’s symptoms can vary to both ends of the pain spectrum. However, regardless of where it has formed or where your pain level is, tooth abscesses don’t heal on their own and can eventually lead to serious health complications if left untreated. Click here to read our article on tooth abscesses.
  • Tooth Trauma: Once a tooth is chipped it will not repair itself on its own. If your tooth is chipped or damaged, a lingering pain or irritation will generally arise around the affected tooth which can be perceived as a toothache. Click here to read our article on chipped teeth.

How to Get Rid of a Toothache

Your toothache treatment options depend primarily on the cause of the tooth pain, which can only be determined by a dental professional. If your toothache is caused by a cavity or tooth decay, then your dentist will remove the decayed area and replace it with a filling. If your tooth is infected, then you may need to undergo a root canal treatment, which is a procedure where the tooth’s infected pulp is removed and sealed to prevent reinfection. In serious cases, such as an abscess tooth, the tooth may be removed and replaced entirely. If your tooth has sustained trauma, then your dentist may resolve the chipped tooth with bonding or a dental veneer. If you’re experiencing a toothache as a result from bruxism, then it may come down to merely working to adjust your habits. There are many toothache treatments available, however, the one that’s right for you can only be determined by your dentist.

Preventing Toothaches

Toothaches aren’t always preventable, although there are some simple tactics you can integrate into your everyday life to considerably lessen the likelihood of oral pain, such as:

  • Floss your teeth once, or preferably twice, per day.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Stop smoking cigarettes.
  • Limit your sugary food and drink intake.
  • Visit your dentist every 6 months for cleaning and an inspection.

Flossing your teeth is the only way to remove plaque and prevent tartar from entering hard-to-reach places. The simple act of flossing your teeth twice per day dramatically decreases your chances of experiencing painful toothaches. Fortunately, Gumchucks’ design ensures a flossing experience that’s faster, easier, and more effective than competing flossers or traditional floss. Our two handles with disposable floss allows you to comfortably reach all your teeth, even those in the back while wrapping the floss around each tooth. This creates the vital “C-Shape” necessary to get below the gum line and effectively clean each tooth.


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