A toothache refers to a tooth pain, sometime around the jaws primarily as a result of a dental condition. In most instances, toothaches are caused by tooth problems, such as a dental cavity, a cracked tooth, an exposed tooth root, irritation of the tooth root, or gum disease.
The pain may be aggravated by chewing or by cold or heat. A thorough oral examination, which includes dental X-rays, is the right step to curing the pain.
The most common and treatable cause of a toothache is a dental cavity. Dental cavities are holes in the two outer layers of a tooth called the enamel and the dentin. The enamel is the outermost white hard surface and the dentin is the yellow layer beneath the enamel.
Certain bacteria in the mouth convert simple sugars into acid. The acid (along with saliva) softens and dissolves the enamel and dentin, creating cavities. Small, shallow cavities may not cause pain and may be unnoticed by the patient. The large deeper cavities can be painful and collect food debris. Potential irritants are foods and liquids that are cold, hot, sour, or sweet, which would then cause a toothache.
In more extreme cases a toothache can be a indication of a dental abcess which usually forms under the gum around the root surface. Treatment of a dental absess would be diagnosed though a dental X-ray and oral examination.