What Makes a Toothache?

what makes a toothacheWhen you relieve a headache, it typically won’t bother you anymore, at least until something else gives you a headache. When you have a toothache, however, even temporary relief is no guarantee that the aching is gone for good, or that the reason behind it won’t continue to bother you (and grow worse). To more permanently relieve a toothache, we explore the common reasons behind the discomfort, and how to treat them to eliminate your tooth’s sensitivity.


Cavities (particularly, the tooth decay that makes them) are among the most common causes of aching teeth. Decay erodes your tooth’s physical structure, aggravating the nerves found at the center of the dentin (a tooth’s main body). The larger a cavity grows, the closer decay gets to your tooth’s nerves, and the more intense the pain will become. Usually, cavities are treated with tooth-colored fillings, and their painful sensations subside soon afterwards.


While a cavity infects your tooth, blunt force trauma can damage it, and the pain can be sharper, more intense, and more immediate. If you don’t know that you’ve cracked your tooth, then the ache can also be confusing. Treating tooth damage depends on the nature, severity, and location of the crack, but may involve cleaning the tooth’s interior, restoring with a filling, and then capping the tooth with a custom dental crown.

Failed Dental Work

If you’ve already had a dental filling, dental crown, or other restorative dental work placed, then you might be no stranger to toothaches. If the work fails, such as a filling falling out or allowing bacteria to reinfect your tooth, then the tooth will hurt again, as well as be at risk of further damage/infection. If your restoration fails, we can replace it using advanced techniques and materials to reduce the risk of failure in the future.


Located in West Allis, WI, Michael E. Flynn, DDS, and his talented team of dental care professionals proudly welcome patients from West Allis, Brookfield, Wauwatosa, and all Western Milwaukee communities. To learn more, or to schedule your next appointment, call Stubbs Family Dentistry today at 414-541-8250.