Toothache or tooth pain is caused when the nerve to a tooth is irritated. Dental (tooth) infection, decay, injury, or loss of a tooth are the most common causes of dental pain. Pain may also occur after an extraction ( tooth is pulled out). Pain sometimes originates from other areas and radiates to the jaw, thus appearing to be tooth pain. The most common areas include the jaw joint ( temporomandibular joint or TMJ), ear pain, even occasional heart problems.
Bacteria growing inside the mouth can contribute to gum disease, plaque, and dental decay. These problems can become painful. The cause and prevention of dental disease has been well investigated.
One can prevent the majority of dental problems through flossing, brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and having teeth professionally cleaned twice a year. The dentist may apply sealants and fluoride, which are especially important in children.
Dr. James L. Johnson