Toothaches are among the most annoying experiences as they cause discomfort, making carrying out the majority of daily tasks challenging. What causes them, what treatments can you expect, and how can you prevent them? Here's everything you need to know

What causes toothaches?

Tooth decay that leads to the development of holes on your tooth's surface is the root cause of most toothaches. 

These holes grow deeper over time, reaching the pulp cavity (the third layer of your tooth where nerves and blood vessels are located), and that's when you start experiencing a toothache. But before this pain begins, you may likely have already started feeling some slight discomfort or sensitivity. This is because tooth decay weakens the tooth, making it more sensitive, especially to cold and hot meals and beverages. That is why it is highly recommended to visit a dentist once every six months for a thorough dental check-up to catch these problems early.

What are the treatments for tooth decay?

There are two main treatments for tooth decay: dental filling and root canal. They vary based on the extent of decay and depth of the hole in your tooth.

  1. A dental filling is a treatment for minor tooth decay, especially when the hole hasn't reached the pulp cavity. The treatment involves drilling out the decayed part of the tooth and plugging the drilled-out section with a dental filling.
  2. A root canal is done if the hole in your tooth has reached the pulp cavity. It's a more extensive treatment where the dentist will drill out the decayed part and remove the pulp cavity's contents (nerves and blood vessels). This is the process of killing a tooth. The dentist will then fill the cavity with gutta-percha (a rubbery dental material) and then cover it with a temporary dental filling, which will be removed later and replaced with a dental crown. You can already tell that root canal treatment requires two dental visits.

How can you prevent tooth decay?

It's simple! Just brush and floss your teeth regularly, at least in the morning and at night before bed.

You can also make a habit of visiting your dentist regularly, especially when you feel something is off, and avoid postponing. In most cases, delays make your condition worse and more expensive to treat. For example, a slightly decayed tooth will only require a dental filling, a simple procedure that does not cost much. However, if you take too long before visiting the dentist, your condition will worsen, meaning you need a root canal, which is more expensive.

Contact your dentist for more information.