Have a Toothache? It Might Not be a Cavity.

Tooth Pain Cavity

You’ve heard that it’s bad to make assumptions; it’s true about most things in life, and it’s true about your dental health. If you have a toothache and you’re like most of us, you’ve probably tried to ignore it for as long as possible, assuming that it’s a cavity that will cause you pain and expense to get filled. But that’s a dangerous assumption to make because not all toothaches are caused by cavities.


Cavities can cause tooth pain, but tooth pain can also be caused by

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • A cracked tooth
  • TMJ
  • Arthritis of the jaw
  • Jaw cancer
  • Exposed nerves
  • Receding Gums
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Injury to the teeth or jaw
  • Incoming teeth
  • Impacted molars or wisdom teeth
  • Food trapped between teeth


While these vary in severity, all can be addressed and rectified. If you’re unsure of the cause of a toothache that recurs or lasts for several days, the best thing to do is to see a dentist. In the meantime before your dental visit, rinse your mouth with water, then use floss to clean between your teeth and ensure that there is no debris caught between your teeth that may be causing the discomfort. You can also rinse your mouth with salt water, use an over-the-counter dental numbing agent or homeopathic numbing agent like clove oil; or isolate the tooth from contact with food and your other teeth with sugar-free gum.


If your toothache pain is severe enough, you may also want to take an over-the-counter painkiller. Despite what you may have heard, crushing a painkiller such as aspirin and applying it to the gums surrounding the offending tooth is not a good solution. Instead of relieving your tooth pain, you may just end up burning your gums.


If you have a toothache that won’t go away, don’t assume the worst and think it’s a cavity—there are a lot of different problems, some more severe than others, that can cause tooth pain. Triage your toothache by following the steps listed above, then see your dentist. The dentist can determine the real cause of your toothache and treat the problem at its source, not just the symptoms.


If you’ve got a persistent toothache, don’t just take it. Make an appointment with Mogren Dental today!

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