5 Top Causes of Toothaches

Do you have sudden tooth pain? Are chronic toothaches making it uncomfortable to eat, drink, and live your daily life? There can be many causes of toothaches, from tooth decay to dental injuries. We can target the cause of your toothache and recommend the right treatment in our Arlington Heights, IL office.

Toothaches in Arlington Heights: Causes and Solutions

If you experience a toothache but don’t quite know the cause, we can help. Some of the most common causes of tooth pain and toothaches include:

Gum Disease

Periodontitis, or gum disease, is a bacterial infection that affects the gum tissues that support teeth. Patients with gum disease experience bleeding gums, gum sensitivity, and gum pain. Gum disease gradually affects the teeth, leading to toothaches and tooth pain. Antibacterial rinses, deep cleanings, and even laser dentistry can eliminate harmful bacteria and restore gum tissue.

Tooth Decay

Dental decay is one of the main causes of toothaches and tooth pain. When decay affects a tooth, it can enter the chamber within the tooth, infecting the pulp. We may require a root canal to remove the infected pulp or a tooth extraction if we cannot save the tooth. A root canal cleans and fills the tooth chamber to preserve the tooth structure. We can also replace an extracted tooth with a dental implant that looks and feels like a natural tooth. However, we will do everything we can to prevent permanent tooth loss.


Broken teeth or hits to the teeth can cause mild to severe tooth pain. Oftentimes, a break in a tooth can expose the nerves within. As a result, patients with dental injuries may experience increased tooth sensitivity and pain. Covering a dental injury with porcelain veneers, dental crowns, or bonding treatment not only improves the appearance of the tooth but can protect the tooth from further damage.

Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to emerge. These teeth erupt behind the back molars. Many patients can experience tooth pain if they have impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth do not have enough room to emerge, which means they can dig into adjacent teeth or even grow perpendicular to other teeth. If you feel tooth pain behind your molars, it could be your wisdom teeth. We can plan a tooth extraction to remove all four of your wisdom teeth if required to prevent further pain and tooth damage.

TMJ Disorders

When the temporomandibular joints are injured or under stress, patients can experience jaw and tooth pain, headaches, and bruxism. Bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding, can wear down the tooth enamel and cause tooth pain. Wearing a nightguard can help eliminate tooth pain because bruxism can occur unconsciously during sleep.

Do you have chronic tooth pain? Contact Dr. Brent Engelberg today at (847) 230-9703 or schedule a dental appointment with him online.