3 Surprising Toothache Sources

Zirconia Crowns for Strength and Beauty
May 10, 2019
3 Ways to Restore a Missing Tooth
May 27, 2019

Toothache pain is a clear indication that something is not as it should be with your oral health. Usually, when patients experience tooth pain, a cavity, fractured tooth, or other dental issue is at fault. However, toothache pain can sometimes happen because of non-dental issues. When you consider the location of teeth, it’s not too surprising that teeth can be affected by other facial conditions — your teeth are closely connected to your jaw and surrounding face structure. Continue reading to discover just what these surprising toothache sources can be. (Just remember, even if you think your toothache pain may be attributed to one of these conditions, it’s always important to have it checked out by your Atlanta dentist, Dr. Richard L. Rodgers.)

Our midtown Atlanta dental practice can help you discover the source of your toothache pain and offer treatment or pain-relief to help you get back to life as normal. If you have tooth pain that’s interfering with your daily life, give us a call to schedule an appointment.  

Periodontal Ligament Inflammation

Did you know a tooth can become bruised? Though teeth may not visibly bruise, they can exhibit a similar pain sensation when they’ve been subject to a good deal of pressure. Underneath the gums, soft ligaments help to hold your teeth and gums in place, along with the jaw bone. They act as shock absorbers, helping to reduce the impact force of biting and chewing. After absorbing a significant amount of shock, they can present bruise-like symptoms that you notice as toothache pain. Usually, a bruised tooth occurs due to the following things:  

  • Teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism)
  • Fatigue from heavy chewing activity from tough or crunchy foods
  • Biting the nails
  • Some dental procedures which require biting on a dental bite block for an extended period

Sinus Pressure

The sinuses, or cavities that produce mucus to coat the inside of the nose, are located around the eyes. The lower half of sinuses are positioned very closely to the upper molars’ roots—and in fact, some patients have teeth roots which extend into the sinus cavities. When sinuses become inflamed or congested due to a cold, sinus infection, or allergies, mounting pressure in the sinus cavity is (in part) absorbed by the jaw bone and upper teeth roots. This absorbed pressure, much like periodontal ligament inflammation, can present similar symptoms to a toothache and cause sensitivity, or throbbing or dull pain.

If toothache pain is caused by sinus pressure, it will most likely increase in severity when you bend over, placing your head below the level of your heart. Another indication that your sinuses may be to blame is if the sinus cavity area around your eyes is tender or sore to the touch. The good news is that once sinus pressure and congestion dissipates, so should your tooth pain.

TMJ Disorders

Your temporomandibular joint is a “hinge” that controls the up and down and side to side movement of your lower jaw. When damage to this joint occurs, painful symptoms are usually a result. These may include:

  • Discomfort or stiffness in the jaw or face when chewing, speaking, or opening the mouth
  • Facial muscle fatigue
  • Clicking or popping sounds when moving the jaw
  • Jaw pain when chewing or biting

Tooth pain can also occur, due to inflammation in the facial muscles or ligaments that can place pressure on tooth roots nearby. Patients who experience any of these symptoms along with tooth pain may have TMD to blame. TMD has many causes, but a primary cause is bruxism. For patients who unconsciously grind their teeth at night, our Atlanta dental team can fit a custom oral appliance to prevent further damage to the teeth and TMJ, in effect reducing future TMD toothaches.

Contact Your Atlanta Dentist

The presence of a toothache is not something you should ignore. Though not every toothache is caused by tooth decay or tooth infection, our team can help determine the exact cause of the pain and help you get back to living pain-free sooner. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment the next time you have a toothache.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *