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Q: What causes a toothache?

Posted December 18, 2013 in Advice Column, Ankeny

A: Toothaches can really affect your life. An ache that starts in the teeth often feels like it radiates through your entire face. Talking, chewing, brushing your teeth seem nearly impossible. Many people pinpoint cavities as being the most obvious cause of a toothache, but there are many other potential reasons that you might feel discomfort in your teeth.
• Sinus infections. That’s right — your toothache might not actually be a toothache. Sinuses and teeth are close neighbors.
• Dental caries. More commonly known as tooth decay. When teeth rot to enough of a degree, pain is likely to follow.
• Bruxism. Better known as teeth grinding, this condition generally affects people in their sleep. The motion of teeth rubbing together for hours at a time can wear away tooth enamel and certainly cause toothaches.
• Gum disease. The earliest phase is gingivitis and may only cause puffy gums and some bleeding when you brush your teeth. Full-blown gum disease and periodontitis (severe gum disease) can lead to recession of gingival tissue, periodontal pockets between the jawbone and gums, abscesses and infections in the roots and pulp. These can carry symptoms that could be described as a toothache.
• Dental injury. Certainly accidents can happen no matter what precautions we take. However, people who participate in high-impact sports activities should consider getting fitted with a customized athletic mouthguard.

If you are experiencing a toothache that is severe or just won’t go away, our team at Peddicord Family Dentistry is just a phone call away. You can contact us today at (515) 963-3339.

Information provided by Dr. Erika Peddicord, Peddicord Family Dentistry, 121 N.E. 18th St., Suite C, 963-3339.

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