If you have experienced a toothache before you would know that it can be one of the worst types of pain you could have. Sometimes it can be a sharp pain that interrupts sleep, other times it can be a dull, persistent pain. Below are some of the main reasons you might be experiencing a toothache.

5 Causes of Toothaches


1. A cavity- essentially a hole in your tooth

The outer layer of a tooth is a hard layer called enamel, the inner layer is dentin which is softer. Underneath dentin are the nerve and blood vessels. If the outer layer gets broken down by bacteria feeding on tooth structure, bacteria can leak into the insides of the tooth and cause a toothache. This is when a cavity occurs. As the cavity approaches the nerve, it can make teeth become very sensitive to hot or cold and cause pain. If not treated early on by doing a filling, a cavity can get larger and a root canal or extraction might be needed. This is why going to the dentist routinely is important to prevent extensive decay.

2. Bite

If you received a filling and it gave you pain afterwards, you may have been biting high on the filling and placing pressure on the one tooth instead of evenly distributing it over all the teeth. If your teeth are shifting, this can also cause tooth-related pain. To fix this, the bite would need to be adjusted.

Bruxism is a condition of unconsciously grinding or clenching teeth during the night or in the day. This can lead to pain in the jaw along with headaches and other problems if severe.

3. Sore gums

Food items can sometimes get dislodged under gums especially when eating hard food items. This can be quite painful and it can cause gums to swell up. Having gaps between teeth can cause food to be easily trapped, requiring frequent flossing to avoid discomfort due to trapped food. Having contact between teeth or having teeth that are touching neighboring teeth is necessary.

At times, people can develop severe periodontal disease. A deep cleaning is necessary to ease the pain and rule out periodontal disease as the source of the pain.

4. Cracked teeth

A cracked tooth can be another source of pain. It can be on an older filling and crack lines might be where the filling is on natural tooth. If the crack is small, it can be removed and a filling can be done to fix it but if it is large, a larger filling might be needed or the tooth may need to be extracted.

5. Wisdom teeth

You have probably heard of someone having a toothache from their wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth sometimes come out straight and feel like the other molars, causing no pain or discomfort. Other times they are hidden under the gums and can be coming out sideways, impacting the tooth next to it. This can cause a lot of problems in the future. Wisdom teeth can even cause jaw pain on either or both sides and might require the dentist to provide a referral to an oral surgeon to remove wisdom teeth.


A toothache could be an underlying issue of something severe. An oral exam or deep cleaning could be the key to relieving your pain and discomfort from a toothache. If you’re experiencing discomfort, contact Roseman Dental to schedule an appointment.

Nevada Location
Utah Location


Article by Tanisha Khurana

Tanisha Khurana - DMD Candidate Class of 2023, Roseman University College of Dental Medicine, ASDA Chapter Fundraising Chair, Pediatric Club Outreach Coordinator

Tanisha Khurana
DMD Candidate Class of 2023
Roseman University College of Dental Medicine
ASDA Chapter Fundraising Chair
Pediatric Club Outreach Coordinator