Why is Your Tooth Hurting?

Why is Your Tooth Hurting?

No matter how good an oral health care routine you have, no one is exempt from occasional tooth pain. If you experience any pain to your teeth, here are some possible causes.

  • Tooth Sensitivity – If you’re experiencing discomfort when eating or drinking hot or cold foods, you may have sensitive teeth. This could be caused by receding gums or from a thinning of the tooth enamel. You should see your dentist to find the cause of the sensitivity, but it may help to lessen the discomfort if you switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush or try using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

  • Sinus Infection – If the only teeth that are hurting are your upper teeth on both sides of your face, the cause may be a sinus infection. This cause is much less common than others, but it is usually accompanied or preceded by nasal congestion and tenderness around the sinuses. If this is the case, a visit to your doctor is in order.

  • Cavity or Cracked Tooth – If the pain can be described as sharp and stabbing and occurs when you bite down on your food, it could be due to a cavity or cracked tooth. Cavities are caused by the acids in plaque (formed by the combination of bacteria, food debris, saliva, and acid in your mouth) dissolving the enamel on your teeth and creating small holes.

  • Abscessed Tooth – Unlike with a cracked tooth, the pain that accompanies an abscessed tooth is more throbbing or incessant. An abscessed tooth is caused by an infection located either at the root of the tooth or between the tooth and gum. The infection is usually a result of severe tooth decay, though it could also be due to trauma to the tooth, such as when it’s chipped or broken, or gum disease or gingivitis.

If your toothache lasts for longer than one or two days, is severe, or is accompanied by fever, earache, or pain when opening your mouth wide, it’s important to visit the dentist to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.