A Cavity Isn't Always the Culprit...


While a cavity is the usual suspect when you’re having tooth pain, there are several other causes that could be the reason for your discomfort.

Tooth Sensitivity

If the pain you are experiencing occurs when you are drinking hot or cold liquids, it may be a sign you have sensitive teeth. This could be from receding gums or from the thinning of your tooth enamel. While you are waiting to go in for an appointment with your dentist to have it examined, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth to help elevate the symptoms.

Tooth Infection

If the pain you are experiencing is a sharp, stabbing pain when you bite down, it may be a cavity or even a cracked tooth. If the pain is throbbing or occurs even when you aren’t biting down, you may an abscessed tooth or an infection that should be examined by your local Wilmington dentist as soon as possible.

It May Not Be Your Teeth

One less common, but significant cause of tooth pain is a sinus infection. If just your upper teeth on both sides of your face are in pain, a sinus infection could be the cause. This sort of toothache is usually accompanied or preceded by nasal congestion and tenderness around your sinuses. If you think this is the cause of your tooth pain, you may wish to see your doctor before going to the dentist.

If your pain is more identifiable as jaw pain, it may be caused by TMJ, direct injury or trauma to the jaw, by tooth grinding (bruxism), or by arthritis affecting the jaw. If your wisdom teeth have yet to be removed, impacted molars could also be causing you jaw pain.

See Your Dentist

Toothaches are not always severe. Intermittent pain may seem like just an inconvenience and not worth an immediate call to the dental office, but waiting until the pain becomes worse is rarely the best option. Whatever the type and severity of your tooth pain, it is best to call your dentist and make an appointment. The causes of toothaches are not always clear, and a conclusive diagnosis as to the source of the pain and subsequent professional treatment is always your best bet.