Human teeth are designed to remain strong for life. Thanks to their protective layer of tooth enamel, teeth can resist discoloration, decay, and sensitivity with the proper care.
However, like any part of your body, teeth can hurt when something is amiss. So why would your tooth (or teeth) be hurting you? Let’s take a closer look at the top causes of tooth pain.
Cavities can cause tooth pain, especially if they have advanced. Poor oral hygiene, sugary and acidic food consumption, and bacteria build-up can lead to enamel erosion, exposing the sensitive inner layers of the tooth, which are more susceptible to decay .
When bacteria can get inside the tooth, it can cause the enamel to break down even more, leading to painful tooth sensitivity and even a tooth infection.
Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups can help prevent tooth decay. If a cavity is already present, a filling or root canal therapy may be necessary to help save your tooth!
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can cause tooth pain. Although you may think of gum disease as being solely about the gums, the gums play a pivotal role in supporting tooth health. If your gums are damaged, especially to the point that the connective ligaments that help hold your teeth in place are affected, you may have tooth pain.
One of the symptoms of gum disease is gum recession, which can also cause sensitive teeth, which may also be causing your discomfort . Symptoms such as red, swollen, bleeding gums, bad breath, and longer-looking teeth may indicate gum disease.
Tooth sensitivity is a common cause of tooth pain. It occurs when the protective layer of enamel wears down, exposing the underlying dentin, which contains microscopic channels (called tubules) that lead to the tooth's nerves. From here, the temperature of food and drinks can reach the sensitive nerve tissue inside your tooth .
Factors that can contribute to tooth sensitivity include brushing too hard, teeth grinding, eating lots of sugary or acidic foods and beverages, gum recession, and cracked teeth. Using desensitizing toothpaste, practicing proper oral hygiene, and seeking dental treatment for underlying issues such as decay or gum disease can help manage tooth sensitivity and reduce your pain.
Physical trauma to the mouth or teeth, such as a fall, sports-related injury, or accident, can lead to tooth pain. Such trauma can cause tooth fractures, chips, or cracks that can lead to tooth pain, sensitivity, or even a tooth infection .
Seeking immediate dental care is crucial after an injury to the mouth or teeth to assess the extent of the damage and provide necessary treatment. Your dentist may recommend bonding, dental veneers, dental crowns, or root canal treatment to restore the tooth's health and relieve your pain.
Are Your Teeth Causing You Pain?
If your teeth are causing you pain, it’s time to schedule a check-up with your dentist to see what the problem could be. Remember, your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and they should not be painful. There is relief for your discomfort, so talk to your dentist about your tooth pain!