What's the Difference Between a Toothache and Sensitive Teeth?

What's the Difference Between a Toothache and Sensitive Teeth?

A toothache is when you feel persistent pain in or around a tooth. It can range from mild discomfort to intense and sharp pain. On the other hand, tooth sensitivity or dentin hypersensitivity is when the underlying dentin layer of the tooth becomes exposed, leading to increased sensitivity to various stimuli. 

Both toothaches and tooth sensitivity can be an indication of various dental problems. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the causes of toothaches and tooth sensitivity to determine the best treatment for relief. Well, this is the primary difference between toothache and sensitive teeth. Read the blog if you are looking for information on toothache vs sensitive teeth. 

This blog explains the differences between toothache and sensitive teeth, its causes, and ways out.

Toothache Vs Sensitive Teeth - The Causes of Toothache and Sensitive Teeth

There are several reasons why you may experience a toothache or sensitive teeth. In this section, we have underlined the causes of toothache and sensitive teeth and associated dental issues. 

Causes of Toothache

  • Cavities or Decay

Tooth decay, or cavities are one of the major causes of toothache. Cavities occur when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that erode the tooth's enamel. As bacteria continue to produce acids, it reaches the inner layers of teeth, and this causes pain and sensitivity. 

  • Dental Abscess

An abscess is an infection that develops at the root of a tooth or in the space between the gums and the tooth. It leads to swelling and persistent toothache. Sometimes even a foul taste in the mouth. 

  • Periodontal Disease

Advanced gum disease, known as periodontitis, can also lead to toothaches. The infection and inflammation of the gums can cause gum recession, exposing the tooth roots and thus, resulting in sensitivity and pain.

  • Cracked Teeth

A cracked tooth can cause sharp pain, especially when biting or chewing. The severity of the pain may depend on the extent of the fracture and the teeth nerves damaged. 

Causes of Teeth Sensitivity

  • Tooth Enamel Erosion

Enamel erosion leads to damage to the protective enamel layer of teeth. There are several reasons why it can happen, such as brushing too hard, consuming acidic foods and beverages, or taking certain medications. 

  • Receding Gums

Gum recession can expose teeth roots that do not have enamel. The root surfaces have numerous dentin tubules which makes them highly sensitive to external stimuli. 

  • Bruxism or Teeth Grinding

If you have a habit of teeth grinding, your teeth may get sensitive soon. Persistent teeth grinding and clenching can erode the teeth enamel. Further, it can expose the dentin, leading to sensitive teeth. 

The Treatment for Toothache and Sensitive Teeth

Toothache and sensitive teeth can be managed through various treatment options and preventive measures. 

  1. The treatment for a toothache depends on the underlying cause. It may involve dental fillings, root canal therapy, extraction, or antibiotics for abscesses. Seeking prompt dental care is essential to alleviate the pain and prevent further complications.
  2. Using desensitizing toothpaste containing ingredients like potassium nitrate or fluoride can help reduce tooth sensitivity. Dentists may also recommend the application of fluoride varnishes, dental bonding, or dental sealants to protect the exposed surfaces of the teeth.
  3. Maintaining good oral hygiene can keep toothache and sensitive teeth problems away. So, brush your teeth daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush, followed by flossing. Most importantly, visiting the dentist regularly can prevent toothaches and sensitive teeth.
  4. Other treatment options for toothache may include dental Fillings or restorations to address cavities or tooth decay. Root Canal Therapy to remove infection and save your teeth. Additionally, tooth extraction in cases where the tooth is severely damaged or cannot be saved.
  5. Routine dental visits are crucial for identifying and addressing potential causes of tooth sensitivity. Your dentist can assess your oral health, provide appropriate treatment, and offer personalized advice for managing sensitivity.
  6. If you have teeth sensitivity due to exposed dentin, your dentist may recommend dental bonding or dental sealants to cover exposed dentin and reduce sensitivity.

The Key Takeaway

Toothache and tooth sensitivity can be managed with proper dental care and lifestyle adjustments. Minimizing the consumption of acidic foods can prevent enamel erosion and reduce the risks of toothache and sensitive teeth. Moreover, if you experience sensitivity after teeth whitening, consider reducing the frequency or intensity of the treatments. However, it is best to get a routine dental check-up done to identify any potential issue early and save your time and money. 

About SmileBreeze Dentistry

If you have prolonged toothache or sensitive teeth, schedule a dental appointment with SmileBreeze Dentistry to address the underlying cause. A highly experienced dentist from our will conduct a thorough examination, possibly including dental X-rays, to determine the appropriate treatment. At SmileBreeze Dentistry, we provide comprehensive oral and dental care and help you improve your oral hygiene practices while keeping dental and oral health issues away. Visit SmileBreeze Dentistry today. 

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