Does a Toothache Mean Infection?

Does a Toothache Mean Infection?

Does a Toothache Mean Infection?

Tooth pain is usually caused by problems in the teeth or jaw, but it could also be associated with a more serious health condition. Tooth pain can range in degree but, if the pain is ongoing (lasting more than one-two days), is sharp, dull, or throbbing, then it’s time to see your dentist – especially if it’s difficult to bite down when chewing and the pain is keeping you from living a normal life.

The Journal of the American Dental Association says, “Tooth pain can be experienced in different ways. Taking care of the problem requires finding the reason for the pain.” They go on to say, “If your mouth or jaw hurt, it could be from a toothache. Toothaches usually indicate a cavity, but they can also signal gum disease. In some cases, a toothache is a sign of an abscess or impacted tooth. A toothache should be evaluated by a dentist right away to determine the cause of the problem and prevent the tooth from dying.”

 Toothache Causes

The vast majority of toothaches originate in the mouth. Common causes of toothaches are:

It’s important to be aware of non-dental causes of tooth pain because some are associated with major health issues. The list includes:

Furthermore, if you are experiencing jaw pain it could be caused by teeth grinding, an uneven bite, or an impacted wisdom tooth.


Because there are so many different causes of toothaches with extensive degrees of damage, treatment plans vary. Your dentist may simply remove the infection and decay from the aching tooth or recommend a more complicated procedure like a root canal or tooth extraction. The ADA says, “Sharp pain might be caused by enamel damage like cavities, chips, or cracks, which might call for a repair. You may need a new dental filling or crown. When the cementum is damaged—exposing the dentin—topical varnish, which goes on as a liquid and then hardens to protect the exposed tooth roots, might be applied.”

In conclusion, a toothache does not necessarily mean infection. It’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist to identify the source of the problem. Once a diagnosis has been made, your dentist can move forward with an appropriate treatment plan to get you back to a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle.