Sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to track down the cause of your toothache because the pain is in the nerves. A tooth nerve can get irritated, and it hurts. Once irritated, the tooth pulp swells, which puts pressure on the nerve, leading to more pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, can combat this type of pain.
Other times, the pain is what we call “referred pain.” This is when your brain confuses one source of pain with another, so although the source of the pain might be someplace else, you feel it in your tooth.
Finally, sometimes the brain can become sensitized, causing you to feel pain for sensations that shouldn’t cause pain, such as the normal, gentle pressure of chewing.