At some point in your life it is likely that you will feel the discomfort of a toothache. Whether the pain is dull or sharp, a toothache can make anyone miserable. Dentist Dr. Kyle McKinney from Oakwood Dental Arts NC in Hickory, North Carolina is here to give you some of the top reasons behind what causes a toothache.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can cause pain in the tooth, jaw, and neck. People who grind their teeth often do so while asleep, so you may be unaware of your condition. If you think that you may suffer from bruxism, talk with your doctor about obtaining a nightguard to protect your teeth and jaw.

Misaligned Teeth

Improper alignment can make teeth push up against others, causing discomfort. Talk with your dentist about options to correct this problem. Typically, braces would be the best option. Invisalign or clear aligners can be a great choice for those who don’t want traditional braces.

Brushing or Flossing Too Hard

It is possible to use too much pressure while brushing or flossing. Consistently using too much pressure can cause the gums to recede and the teeth to become sore and painful. This problem is actually rather common, and you can talk to your dentist about proper cleaning techniques.

Gum Disease

If you are experiencing bleeding, swollen gums, loose teeth, and bad breath that won’t go away on top of a toothache, you may be suffering from gum disease. If you notice these changes, call your dentist for a checkup.


An infection in the tooth can be very painful. It is characterized by swollen gums around the area and an aching, throbbing feeling. Tooth discoloration and facial swelling may occur. See your dentist right away if you experience these symptoms, as an immediate root canal may be necessary.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth that have not broken through the gum line can also cause an extremely painful toothache as they push against other teeth on the surface. Unfortunately, this issue will only get worse over time and does require surgery.


If you are wondering what the cause is of your toothache, call Oakwood Dental Arts NC at 828-324-6235 or email mckinneydds@OakwoodDentalArtsNC.com to schedule an appointment or checkup. If you are experiencing an extremely painful toothache, call our emergency number at 828-394-9318.