The Tooth Hurts: 8 Causes of Dental Pain

Written by Valley Oak Dental Group on . Posted in Dental Tips

It’s been a long day, and you’re just sitting down with a bowl of your favorite ice cream. As you put on your current television obsession, you scoop a bit of ice cream into your mouth.

And then it hits: an overwhelming, stinging pain in several of your teeth.

Tooth pain isn’t fun for anyone. It can be distracting and frustrating, and it can quickly turn a great day into a sour one. But what causes tooth pain? There are actually a lot of dental conditions that can cause tooth pain, and each seems to have its own brand of intense and biting pain. Below, we’ll discuss eight causes of tooth pain and what type of pain you might experience with each condition.

1. Thinning Enamel or Receding Gums

If you’re experiencing some sharp sensitivity to cold and hot foods and beverages, you may have an issue with your enamel or gums. Avoid the hot coffee for a while and schedule an appointment with your dentist. He or she can help you find the right solutions to strengthen your enamel and restore your gums.

Until you make it to your appointment, stick to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, try not to brush too hard, as doing so can have a negative impact on your gums.

2. Decay

Decay is the top cause of tooth pain, and it can lead to other painful dental issues. If one of your teeth is a bit sensitive to hot and cold foods, a small portion of your tooth is starting to decay. But if you’re experiencing a severe, sudden pain when you bite down, the decay may have overtaken your tooth.

Go see your dentist if you suspect decay is the problem. They can evaluate your tooth and determine the best course of action.

3. Cavities

Sometimes, decay can result in a cavity. Most cavities may go unnoticed until you see the dentist, but if the cavity grows enough, you may be left in a painful situation. Cold and hot foods will bring out that sharp sensitivity in the affected tooth, or biting and chewing will result in a bolt of intense pain.

Luckily, most cavities are quick fixes. Visit your dentist to get a filling and return to your pain-free life.

4. A Loose or Damaged Filling

While fillings are handy and wonderful appliances, they can sometimes turn against you. A damaged or loose filling can provoke a sharp pain whenever you bite down. Chewing gum will be painful, and enjoying a steak will be impossible. Take a trip to your dentist and have him or her take a look at your fillings. If your fillings look a little worse for wear, your dentist can replace or repair them.

5. Damaged Pulp in the Tooth

When a mouthful of cold lemonade turns into an extended bout of pain, you may have damaged pulp in one of your teeth. Pulp can be damaged by extensive decay or some kind of trauma to the tooth, and inflamed or dying pulp can cause lingering, painful sensitivity to hot and cold foods.

Schedule an appointment with your dentist before the problem gets worse. You may need a root canal to prevent worse issues, but you can enjoy that cold lemonade again.

6. Temporary Pulp Inflammation

After certain dental treatments, you may experience temporary sensitivity to cold and hot foods. But don’t fret; the sensitivity should go away after a few days or so. However, if the temperature sensitivity persists after a couple weeks, check in with your dentist to ensure nothing’s wrong.

7. Abscessed Tooth or Infection

If you let tooth decay sit too long or your tooth took a beating in the annual family football game, an infection or a tooth abscess can develop. With an abscessed tooth or an infection, you may experience a constant, throbbing pain in your tooth. If you suspect this is the problem, see your dentist immediately before the situation gets out of hand.

8. A Cracked Tooth or Other Trauma

Teeth are fairly resilient most of the time, but breaking a tooth isn’t as difficult as you think. A tooth may unexpectedly crack while chewing on a handful of nuts, or you may break a tooth during a rousing game of street hockey.

When you have a crack in your tooth, it can lead to quite a bit of pain. Chewing can be extremely uncomfortable. Sharp, shooting pain can surge through your broken tooth, and your damaged tooth may also have severe sensitivity to that hot soup or chilled soda. Be sure to visit your dentist right away to repair your tooth.

No matter what kind of dental pain you’re experiencing, call a qualified, reliable dentist, such as Valley Oak Dental Group. We can take a look at your teeth and determine what’s causing your pain before offering the best solution for the situation. Don’t let tooth pain take over your life; schedule an appointment and get back to pain-free living.