Biting Back – The Most Common Causes of Toothaches

While it may seem insignificant when you’re not actively experiencing it, a toothache can be absolutely debilitating, not to mention rather irritating to deal with. However, with the wide array of things that can go wrong inside your mouth, it can be surprisingly hard to determine what is actually causing the pain.

The last time I visited my dentist in South Melbourne, I picked their brain a little in between them picking my teeth. So, with that, alongside some of my own frantic research, let’s take a look at some of the common causes of tortuous toothaches.

Misaligned Teeth

Starting right of the bat with an issue that’s near and dear to my heart, or mouth, misaligned teeth pressing against each-other can be as painful as it sounds. Having misaligned teeth comes with another problem as well, which is that these teeth can knock surrounding teeth out of alignment, causing further pain and discomfort.

Personally, I had been dealing with tooth and gum pain for years. As it turns out, my less-than-stellar tooth alignment was doing more than giving me a peculiar smile, it was causing a considerable amount of pain and irritation. The usual solution for this particular malady is braces and, if the issue requires it, surgery. Speaking of surgery…

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Ah, even typing those words makes my mouth feel slightly uncomfortable.

As the name suggests, this issue occurs when wisdom teeth fail to make it through the gums. This can cause a great deal of agony as they push against both your gums and surrounding teeth. Impaction of your wisdom teeth can also lead to further issues, such as inflammation, infection, or even damage to surrounding teeth.

When it comes to wisdom teeth, the general solution is, you guessed it, surgery! Luckily, once your wisdom teeth are removed, things should quickly return to normal.


Otherwise known as bruxism, teeth grinding can cause more than just a sore tooth. As a matter of fact, the grinding of teeth is a common cause of muscle pain ranging from the jaw to the neck. Generally associated with stress and sleeping, in extreme cases this can lead to chipped and cracked teeth, which is often more painful than it sounds.

Luckily, this issue is common enough that there is a variety of options to help with it. For those that grind their teeth whilst sleeping, a custom mouthguard would almost certainly be your most effective option.

Tooth Decay

Here is the one you were all waiting for. The most common cause of toothaches and mouth pain, the type of pain you’re experiencing can tell you a little bit about what’s happening. For example, dull pain in the tooth and surrounding areas suggests that decay has made its way to the tooth’s inner layer (otherwise known as dentin). This is when decay becomes a cavity, which may require a filling.

Alternatively, if you’re experiencing sharp, intense pains, it’s likely that decay has gotten to the middle of the tooth. This is when things start to get out of hand, as the pain can be severe enough to disrupt daily living. If you think you may be experiencing decay, then it’s absolutely vital that you see a dentist as soon as possible. Tooth decay can be miserable, but if left untreated, it can become a lot worse.

Mouth pain is always going to be difficult to manage, as your mouth is one of the primary ways that we experience the world as humans. So, try to take care of your dental health, and visit a dentist as soon as possible if things start to go awry.