What’s Causing Your Toothache?

Hinsdale Dentist

If you’re experiencing dental pain, it might not always be a result of a cavity. There are a number of oral health issues that can lead to pain and sensitivity. Here are just a few oral health issues that could be causing you problems.


Did you know that you could be grinding or clenching your teeth without even realizing it? This condition is known as bruxism, and it most often occurs in your sleep. Unfortunately, this condition can lead to a number of oral health issues, particularly dental pain. When you grind your teeth, you gradually wear down your dental enamel and expose the layer beneath (known as dentin) to outside stimuli. This can cause painful hypersensitivity to heat and cold. Some other common symptoms you might experience with bruxism are as follows:

  • Tightness in the jaw
  • Flattened, fractured, or chipped teeth
  • Pain in the face, neck, and back
  • Popping sounds when you open your mouth
  • Disrupted sleep

Be sure to discuss this issue with your dentist immediately, as they can fit you for a nighttime mouthguard that will protect you from these oral health issues.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease (or gum disease) can also lead to tooth pain if you’re not careful. While gum disease begins as a minor infection of the gums known as gingivitis, it can progress to periodontitis if left untreated. This disease can cause your gums to recede, exposing the root and leading to pain. It can even lead to tooth loss! Here are some other symptoms that those with gum disease may experience:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Unpleasant breath
  • Swollen, red, or tender gums

The earlier you seek treatment for gum disease, the better. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to visit your dentist straight away.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth can be quite painful, as this is an infection that has progressed deep to the root of the tooth. It can be caused by any number of issues, from severe tooth decay, to gum disease, to trauma, and it should not be taken lightly. If left untreated, this infection can progress to the jaw bone and cause a number of health issues. Some signs that you can look out for are as follows:

  • Tooth sensitivity, particularly to heat and cold
  • Fever
  • Severe and persistent tooth pain
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • A general feeling of being ill or uncomfortable
  • Unpleasant breath
  • A small pimple on the gums beneath your tooth


From mild trauma like a chipped tooth, to a more serious injury that can dislodge your tooth, trauma can absolutely be the culprit behind your dental pain. Your dentist will cater their treatment to your specific case, which can vary depending on the severity of your injury. Regardless, it is important to seek treatment for tooth trauma, as this can lead to issues like severe decay down the road.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, we can help! Contact Hinsdale Dental straight away to alleviate your pain and restore your oral health.

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