What Does A Toothache Mean?

A toothache is never fun. However, if ignored, your discomfort can only grow worse. Often, an aching tooth is a warning sign that something is wrong with your smile and that you need treatment. Ignoring the issue increases the risk of serious complications, including tooth loss in extreme cases.

Tooth Decay

While an aching tooth can be the result of air pressure changes (such as when you fly in a place) or sinus infections, a toothache that persists after 48 hours is often an indicator of tooth decay. A cavity forms when bacteria can bypass the tooth enamel and reach the inner dentin, which is more sensitive. An injury to the tooth, such as a sports accident, or enamel erosion, which can develop as a result of poor oral hygiene, can lead to decay forming.


Bruxism is when we grind our teeth or clench our jaws regularly, often at night as we sleep. Over time, the constant pressure and force from teeth grinding can actually crack or chop a tooth, or even wears down the tooth enamel. Soon, you may develop a toothache or tooth sensitivity as the result of a cavity.

Dental Infection

An infection can occur when a cavity isn’t treated in time, allowing the decay to grow and spread until coming in contact with the tooth’s nerve center, the inner pulp. The infection can lead to serious pain, as well as swelling around the tooth, a fever, or a foul-tasting discharge from the tooth.

Seek Treatment!

If you have a tooth that hurts, don’t ignore it! We can repair minor chips or address cavities in a single visit with dental bonding and dental fillings. If you’ve worn down your teeth due to bruxism, we can place a lifelike dental crown. We can also perform a root canal to address infection.

Does Your Tooth Hurt?

At Snow Park Dental, Dr. Mark A. Miller can identify the cause if your discomfort and recommend immediate treatment options. Contact us today at 505-299-2979 to schedule a consultation at our Albuquerque, NM, office. We welcome patients and families from Rio Rancho, Corrales, Edgewood, Tijeras, Los Lunas, and all surrounding communities.