Three Cases In Which Your Toothache May Point To A Further Problem

10 February 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


You should never ignore a toothache, especially if you have good oral hygiene and your teeth are in an otherwise healthy condition. This is because what feels to you like a toothache may be a symptom of another health condition. The underlying health condition may or may not even be connected to your oral cavity. Examples of health conditions that may induce toothache include the following:

 Heart Problems

You should be wary of a toothache that develops suddenly because it might point to a heart problem. Your toothache may be related to a heart attack or angina (coronary heart disease), especially if it starts while you are engaged in a strenuous physical activity and seems to go away when you rest.

Such a toothache develops when your heart muscles do not receive adequate oxygenated blood and go into a spasm. The spasm spreads to the other parts of the body, including your left jaw. This is what mimics a toothache. Your chances of developing this health issue are greater if you have a history of coronary heart disease.


Shingles (also called herpes zoster) is a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash. It can strike anybody, but it is more prevalent in persons with weakened immune systems. Apart from rashes, its other symptoms include fever, nausea, toothache and headache.

The virus may affect your trigeminal nerve (that controls your biting and chewing), which can result in a toothache.  To make matters worse, the toothache symptom can sometimes exhibit itself before the other symptoms (such as rashes) appear. You should also know that the disease is highly contagious.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) isn't exactly a disease of the teeth, but it can manifest itself as a toothache. The temporomandibular joint is the one that connects your temporal bone (that forms part of your skull) to your mandible (lower jawbone). When it gets inflamed or damaged in any way, it affects other related issues such as your teeth, jawbone, and surrounding muscles. The result is a host of symptoms such as headaches, toothache, jaw pain, and a biting difficulty.

Therefore, home treatment of a toothache is not advisable unless you know what is causing it and it is something you can handle. Otherwise, always consult your dentist for all your unidentified toothache episodes. If there is another issue, then the dentist will refer you to the right medical professional for treatment. Even if it turns out to be a real toothache, the dentist will still be of great use. If you cannot get to your regular dentist, contact a 24-hour dentist.