Tooth pain ranges from a dull, throbbing ache to quick, sharp stabs of agony. There is no one main cause of tooth pain, but the most common reasons are listed below. Because tooth pain rarely goes away on its own, those who experience it should see their dental care professional as soon as possible to determine the cause and get some relief.
One of the most common causes of tooth pain is physical trauma, particularly for those who play sports, but they can also occur as a result of vehicular accidents, fights, or other situations where physical trauma occurs. It sometimes takes several hours to several days for the toothache to begin, however, so patients don’t always connect it to the injury.
When teeth become cracked, chipped, or fractured as a result of injury, patients may experience sharp, stabbing pain, especially when chewing or biting and noticeable sensitivity to heat and cold.
Tooth decay is another primary cause of tooth pain. This occurs as a result of plaque buildup on tooth enamel that causes it to erode to the extent that a cavity is formed. Although the cavities themselves are painless, the decay eventually reaches the middle layer of the tooth if cavities are allowed to go untreated.
If the decay is allowed to continue unchecked and extend deep into the interior of the tooth, a condition known as pulpitis results, which causes most patients a considerable amount of pain and can cause an infection commonly known as a dental abscess. Some cases of pulpitis are reversible, while others require that the affected tooth or teeth be removed and replaced with prosthetics.
One of the first indications of the onset of gum disease is tooth pain and sensitivity accompanied by bleeding gums. This condition is known as gingivitis, and the good news is that when it’s almost always reversible when it’s caught in the early stages.
Although these are among the most common causes of tooth pain, they are far from the only causes. Only your dental care professional can determine the exact cause and prescribe an effective course of treatment. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like more information on maintaining a healthy, attractive, and pain-free smile.