Teeth aren’t meant to hurt, but from time to time, you may experience an aching tooth. Tooth enamel, the shiny, protective layer on the outside of your tooth, generally keeps your teeth from harm. However, when enamel becomes compromised due to tooth decay, gum disease, aggressive tooth brushing, or eating too much sugar, teeth can cause pain.
What are the top reasons your tooth may be aching? Here are the most common reasons why your tooth is causing you discomfort!
You Have a Tooth Infection
A tooth infection can happen due to gum disease or tooth decay, but it may also happen due to an injury or trauma to the tooth. A tooth infection may start out as a mildly aching tooth, but it may progress to a persistent ache that doesn’t go away. Without treatment, the ache will get worse, and you may even experience swelling in your jaw, pain radiating out toward your ear, or a bad taste in your mouth .
Your Teeth Are Sensitive
Sensitive teeth may not be much of an issue for some people, but for others, hot and cold foods can cause sharp pain and aching of teeth. Sensitive teeth are usually the result of compromised tooth enamel, and as such, they can also be a sign of tooth decay, gum disease, and even a tooth infection . Always have your tooth sensitivity evaluated by your dentist to check for an underlying problem!
You Have a Damaged Dental Restoration
Dental restorations such as a filling or a dental crown can last for years without needing to be replaced. However, eventually your dental restoration will need professional attention from your dentist . Most restorations will deteriorate slowly over time, which can leave vulnerable areas of your tooth exposed. The result can be sensitive or aching teeth that cause pain.
Your Tooth Was Injured
An accident such as a fall or impact has the potential to affect your tooth. An impact to the mouth can cause what’s called a bruised tooth, where the ligaments of the tooth become damaged and can cause pain and inflammation. A bruised tooth can cause aching and discomfort. For some, an injured tooth will heal on its own, but for others, the tooth may need additional treatment to heal.
You Grind Your Teeth
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a serious condition that can put extreme pressure on your teeth and the ligaments that help hold your teeth in place. If you grind your teeth at night, you may wake up in the morning with aching teeth, or your tooth ligaments may even be inflamed as a result of the condition . Generally, bruxism will need treatment and won’t resolve on its own.
Is Your Tooth Aching?
If your tooth is aching, there’s an underlying issue that’s letting you know something is wrong with your tooth. Don’t wait to make an appointment with your local dentist to figure out what the issue is and stop that aching tooth!