I Have a Toothache: Should I Go See the Dentist? By Dr. David Wyse on February 26, 2024

man holding his jaw in pain

Toothaches can range from annoying to debilitating. Regardless of the specifics, if you’re wondering whether you should see a dentist, the answer is always yes. When you visit our BloomingtonILdental office, we can discuss your concerns and examine your smile to pinpoint the cause of your discomfort. Until then, let’s cover some reasons why toothaches call for a visit to the dentist.

How Do You Define a Toothache?

Before we discuss causes, let’s first pause to consider what a toothache actually means. Every person’s experience is unique but we generally hear these descriptions:

  • Constant pain in the jaw or face
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Shooting pain when you bite down

Keep in mind that dental problems can have far-reaching effects. If you’re hesitant to think a dentist can help, think again. We’re often able to make connections between symptoms that don’t seem to be related. When in doubt, reach out to us. 

Causes of Toothaches

Next, let’s cover some causes of these issues.


Left untreated, harmful bacteria can accumulate on our teeth and create tiny holes in the enamel–the protective outer layer of a tooth. You might notice greater discomfort when you eat sugary treats or enjoy acidic foods and drinks.

Root Canal Infection

If this bacteria enters the inner portion of the tooth, it can create a root canal infection. Since the nerve is located within this soft tissue, a toothache will usually become more pronounced at this stage.

Teeth Grinding

Clenching and grinding–two hallmark symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder–can place a huge amount of stress on your teeth and create a range of painful symptoms.

Gum Recession

TMJ disorder and gum disease can both cause the gumline to recede. Once the tooth roots become exposed, it can cause sensitivity and discomfort.

Prompt Action Could Save Your Tooth

What do all of these toothache causes have in common? Without treatment, they’ll most often escalate. With the exception of teeth grinding, which can sometimes improve with stress reduction and other lifestyle changes, you’re going to need a dentist’s help to protect your smile. 

When you visit our Bloomington office, we’ll evaluate your medical history and discuss your concerns. We’ll also take x-rays to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your oral health. Once we pinpoint the cause, we can discuss your treatment options. 

Common Treatments for Toothaches

Depending on your unique case, we might recommend:

  • Dental filling
  • Root canal treatment and a dental crown
  • Treatment for TMJ disorder
  • Periodontal treatment
  • Gum grafting

If you don’t regularly visit the dentist, we’ll also make sure to get you set up with periodic check-ups. In addition to practicing good oral hygiene at home, visiting us at least every six months for cleanings and exams is the simplest way to keep your smile in top shape.

Schedule an Appointment With Us

Our practice has been operating out of the same Bloomington location for more than 100 years. We’re proud to consider ourselves a fixture in the community and feel it is a true privilege to treat generations of patients. When you reach out to us, you can trust your smile is in good hands. Message us today to request an appointment and find relief from your toothache.

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Wyse Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Wyse Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Wyse Family & Cosmetic Dentistry has been serving the community in Bloomington, IL, for 100 years, making us the oldest practice in town. We are constantly updating our practice with the latest technology and innovative techniques to provide first-rate dentistry for our valued patients. Our comprehensive services include

  • Emergency Dental Care
  • Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Dental Implants
  • Pediatric Dentistry 

Schedule an appointment today by filling out our online form, or by calling (309) 663-6393.

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"I love my 'new teeth'. I feel so much better about my smile. The staff at Dr. Wyse's office was very friendly and professional. I would recommend them to anyone looking for excellent dental care."

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