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Tooth Sensitivity vs. Toothache: Knowing the Difference

by | Sep 21, 2023 | Tooth Sensitivity, Toothache

tooth sensitivity vs toothache knowing the difference

If you’re feeling dental discomfort, it could be due to toothache or sensitive teeth.

These are common issues, with around 57% of people experiencing tooth sensitivity. Dental caries, or tooth decay, are a widespread global problem affecting all age groups.

When you experience sudden, sharp pain or general discomfort in your teeth or mouth, here’s how to determine whether it’s toothache or tooth sensitivity.

Tooth Sensitivity vs. Toothache: Understanding the Difference

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity refers to the discomfort often triggered by hot or cold foods and beverages, like ice cream or hot coffee.

This discomfort arises when these stimuli stimulate the nerves within the teeth due to exposure of the softer layer beneath the enamel, known as dentin.

Other triggers include inhaling cold air or consuming acidic, sweet, or sour foods.


Toothaches generally arise from underlying dental issues that can be more serious than tooth sensitivity.

They are frequently the result of problems such as dental decay, infected pulp, cracked teeth, or gum disease.

The pain associated with a toothache tends to be more persistent and intense and may persist even after the initial cause is addressed.

Occasionally, chewing or applying pressure to the affected tooth can exacerbate the pain. When faced with a toothache, it is essential to seek immediate dental care to prevent potential complications.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity vs. Toothache

Experiencing tooth sensitivity, characterised by sharp pain when consuming hot, cold, or sweet substances, can be uncomfortable.

If this is a recurring issue for you, it’s advisable to seek dental assistance.

Tooth sensitivity resembles a toothache in some ways, as it also involves sharp pain.

The key distinction is that sensitivity usually subsides swiftly once the triggering stimulus is removed.

Nonetheless, the causes often overlap with toothaches, including decay, gum recession, aggressive tooth brushing (abrasion), or tooth erosion.

Potential treatments for severe sensitivity or frequent toothaches include fillings to shield exposed areas of the tooth or applying stronger desensitising agents.

Toothache and tooth sensitivity can also signal cracked tooth syndrome, which affects the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels, causing pain.

The treatment for a fractured tooth differs according to the type and severity of the crack.

Some may require no intervention, but most should be addressed to prevent worsening or potential tooth loss.

A common solution is using a dental crown to strengthen the affected tooth.

However, in many cases, improving oral hygiene practices can lessen these common issues.

How to Alleviate Tooth Sensitivity vs. Toothache

Proper treatment is essential to find relief from tooth sensitivity vs. toothache. However, there are several steps you can take at home to maintain optimal tooth and gum health.

#1. Practice Gentle Brushing

Aggressively brushing your teeth in the belief that it will make them cleaner is not recommended.

Over time, vigorous brushing can lead to gum recession, potentially exposing your tooth’s root canal.

It’s essential to be gentle when brushing your teeth. Unlike the skin on our bodies, gums cannot repair, heal, or grow back once they have receded to the point of revealing the root canal.

#2. Choose the Right Toothpaste

Use toothpaste with fluoride or desensitising agents regularly for at least a month to reduce sensitivity. For severe pain, consult a dentist.

#3. Protect Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is the thin protective layer surrounding your teeth’ crown. When it weakens, it can lead to heightened tooth sensitivity and toothaches.

Unfortunately, once enamel is damaged, it cannot be fully restored. However, you can improve its mineral content through effective toothpaste or professional dental treatments.

These techniques can help you manage tooth sensitivity and toothaches while protecting oral health. You should also seek professional dental care.

Tooth Sensitivity vs. Toothache Treatment in Belmont WA

Recognising the distinction between tooth sensitivity vs. toothache is important to address these discomforts effectively.

Epsom Dental Care provides the best possible dental care for your tooth sensitivity or toothache.

Our solutions are fast, efficient and practical.

Same-Day Emergency Appointments Available in Belmont WA

Visit your Belmont WA today!

Call us today at (08) 9478 2349 or request your appointment online.

We are located at 5/132 Epsom Ave in Belmont WA.

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