‍If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know just how painful it can be. Whether your toothache is caused by decay, an infection, or another issue, it’s almost always unpleasant and will require immediate attention. While most of us will thankfully never have to deal with an actual tooth-eating grizzly bear again, the pain from a toothache comes from the same source as in that fictional circumstance.

Clearly, having a toothache is not something anyone wants to deal with for very long. 

Thankfully, if you catch it early enough, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent getting a toothache in the first place. Even if you do get a toothache right now and that’s what prompted you to read this article, there are still things you can do to ease the pain and shorten its duration until you can get in to see your dentist again.

Decayed teeth

When you eat something, you also drink a little bit of saliva. This is mostly water, but it also contains a small amount of naturally occurring fluoride, which helps strengthen your teeth by causing minerals in the tooth to bind together more strongly so they can’t be broken down over time. 

Preventing cavities is one of the most important things you can do for your oral health. Unfortunately, tooth decay is still one of the most common problems that affect people’s teeth today. The bacteria that cause tooth decay can be found in almost everyone’s mouths, but they only pose a threat when they have the chance to build up and form plaque, which is a sticky substance that’s sort of like bacteria’s version of plaque. When you have a toothache, there’s a high chance that it’s due to tooth decay. If a tooth has been decaying for a while and you haven’t been treating it, the decay can spread to the surface of the tooth and cause a cavity.

Infected teeth

There are a few different ways you can get a tooth infection. If the decay has spread from your tooth and into your gum tissue, the bacteria can infect your gums and lead to an infection. You can also get an infection if an injury or dental procedure causes the bacteria to travel up into your gums. 

Bacterial infections can cause swelling and pain around your gum line, and they can also be very serious if they aren’t treated quickly. There are a few ways to get a tooth infection. If a tooth has been decaying and you haven’t treated it, the bacteria can spread to your gums and cause an infection. If a tooth injury or procedure causes the bacteria to travel up into your gums, you can also get an infection. Infections can cause swelling and pain around your gums, and they are serious if they aren’t treated quickly.

Irritated gums

While the bacteria that cause tooth decay can lead to an infection in your gums, the opposite can also happen. In rare cases, an infection in your gums can travel up to your jawbone, which can cause a very serious condition known as osteomyelitis. When this happens, the infection can cause a dramatic increase in pain and sensitivity around the infected area. Depending on the severity of the infection, you may also notice swelling, skin that feels warm to the touch, and a foul taste in your mouth.

Broken teeth

It’s hard to imagine how a tooth could actually break, but it’s actually not uncommon. In fact, if you’re a heavy coffee drinker, you’re more likely to break a tooth than decay one. If a tooth is decayed enough to break, it can cause an infection in the gum tissue. If the infection is serious enough, it can travel up into your jawbone and cause osteomyelitis. 

However, if a tooth breaks but doesn’t cause an infection, you’ll still feel pain when chewing on that side of your mouth. The broken tooth will likely be sharp and jagged, which can cause it to cut into the soft tissue of your gums as you chew.

Misaligned bite

While some toothaches are caused by serious dental issues like decaying teeth or infected gums, others are caused by less obvious issues, like misaligned teeth or a misaligned bite. If you grind your teeth at night, you may notice that the grinding affects one side of your mouth more than the other. This can lead to misaligned teeth, which can cause teeth to press down on the softer tissue in your mouth, causing pain. If you grind your teeth and notice pain on one side of your mouth, it’s important to get it checked out as soon as possible. Unfortunately, nothing is as quick as curing tooth decay with a magical bear!


While toothaches are not fun, they are important to recognize and address as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment of issues like decaying teeth, infections, and gum irritation is key to preventing toothaches from becoming more serious problems. 

Remember, prevention is always better than cure! If you notice any of the signs of tooth decay, such as sensitivity to heat, sweets, or cold, a change in the color of your tooth, or a change in texture, it is important to visit a dentist office near Kearney. A toothache can occur with no warning, and it can be extremely painful. If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to contact your dentist to ensure that you receive the proper treatment.

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