Toothache vs. Tooth Sensitivity: How to Tell the Difference

November 15, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drthomas @ 2:09 am
Woman with toothache, touching her face and wearing pained expression

The terms “toothache” and “tooth sensitivity” get used a lot in discussions about various dental problems. Have you ever wondered about the exact definitions of those two terms? Knowing what they are can help you understand your oral health and seek appropriate care when you suspect that your smile is no longer in prime condition.

Toothaches and Tooth Sensitivity: What They Have in Common

It is important to note that toothaches and sensitivity are not dental problems in themselves. Rather, they are symptoms that stem from an underlying issue. They can have a range of causes, and oftentimes, those causes are similar. For example, someone with a spot of severe decay may have a persistent, throbbing toothache. However, that same tooth may also be very sensitive to outside stimuli.

Regardless of whether you are experiencing a toothache or a sudden increase in dental sensitivity, it is worth your time to visit a dentist. Dr. Thomas can perform a thorough evaluation to understand the cause of the problem and recommend a treatment to help you find relief.

Toothache and Tooth Sensitivity: The Differences

Usually, when a patient is experiencing a toothache, they complain of continuous pain that is severe enough to interfere with their daily activities. Often, this symptom points to a serious problem that requires prompt treatment.

Tooth sensitivity, on the other hand, can be mild, severe, or somewhere in-between. It is characterized by pain and discomfort that occur when a tooth is exposed to hot or cold foods or other strong stimuli. In some cases, it stems from an urgent problem, such as advanced gum disease that has exposed the roots of the teeth or a deep crack in a tooth. Often, though, sensitivity is simply the result of tooth enamel that has become worn down over time, perhaps due to teeth grinding or the overconsumption of acidic foods and beverages.

If you have sensitive teeth, the best way to address the problem might be something as basic as making adjustments to your diet and oral hygiene routine. You might also be a candidate for ozone therapy, which has been known to significantly reduce sensitivity for some patients.

The Bottom Line

Toothaches and tooth sensitivity can mean different things for your oral health, but they are both valid reasons to seek professional care!

Meet Dr. Thomas

Dr. Preetha Thomas is a holistic dentist who is proud to serve the Southlake community. She always favors conservative treatments that carry minimal risks for patients’ overall health. To learn how she could help you deal with a toothache or sensitive teeth, get in touch with Enclave Dental at 817-912-1218.

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