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3 Common Causes of Toothaches and How to Avoid Them

Tooth pain can be caused by several different issues with your teeth. Your Danville, VA, dentist, Dr. Jessica Owens of Art of Dentistry Danville, can determine if any of these problems are responsible for your toothache and offer helpful treatments.

Tooth decay

Your pain could be due to tooth decay. Although small cavities usually aren't painful, large ones may cause pain and sensitivity when you eat and drink. Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of toothaches. In fact, 92% of adults have had cavities, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

What you can do to avoid tooth decay: Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day removes plaque, a sticky, clear film that can cause cavities. In addition to practicing good oral hygiene, it's important to visit the Danville, VA dental office for regular dental cleanings. If you have a toothache, be sure to let the dentist know during your appointment.

Dental abscess

Toothaches can also be caused by abscesses in the soft pulp at the center of your tooth. Abscesses are bacterial infections that require emergency dental treatment to prevent the infection from spreading to your heart, brain, or other parts of the body. In addition to pain, abscess signs and symptoms may include facial swelling, fever, swollen lymph nodes, tender gum, pus on the gum, or a bump on the gum.

What you can do to avoid an abscess: Abscesses can form if tooth decay reaches your pulp. Brushing and flossing thoroughly not only reduce your cavity risk but also help you avoid abscesses. Cracks or chips in your teeth can also allow bacteria to reach the pulp. Prompt dental care for chips and cracks will protect your smile and reduce your abscess risk.

Grinding and clenching your teeth

Your toothache could be caused by grinding or clenching your teeth at night. Since you're asleep when you do this, you may not even be aware that the habit is responsible for your tooth pain. Other signs that could mean grinding or clenching are a problem that can include tooth damage, enamel erosion, morning headache, and a sore, stiff jaw.

What you can do to stop grinding or clenching your teeth: Your dentist can provide you with a nightguard, an oral appliance that fits over your teeth. The device absorbs pressure, preventing damage to your teeth.

Do you have a toothache? Call (434) 792-0700 to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Danville, VA, Dr. Owens of Art of Dentistry Danville.

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