An aching tooth steals enjoyment from your life. When you have tooth pain, talking or chewing can cause pain to radiate throughout your whole jaw, making you feel less than yourself. Don’t try to ignore the pain. If something hurts, there’s an underlying reason why. The team at Alexandria Dental Health & Smile Studio can help diagnose the problem and decide on the best course of action for tooth pain relief so you can return to a normal life.
Common Causes of Tooth Pain
Many types of dental issues result in sore teeth, jaw tension, and bite problems. Review these dental conditions and plan for a consultation right away.
Dental Decay (Cavities)
Dental decay, also known as cavities or caries, is one of the leading causes of tooth pain. When bacteria in the mouth produce acids that erode the tooth's enamel, it leads to the formation of cavities. The decay can reach the inner layers of the tooth, exposing the nerves, resulting in pain and sensitivity.
A tooth abscess is a pus-filled pocket that develops at the root of the tooth due to a bacterial infection. The infection might be from untreated dental decay or a dental injury. The pressure buildup from the abscess can cause severe, throbbing tooth pain.
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis, causes pain and discomfort in the affected area. As gum disease progresses, it can lead to gum recession, bone loss, and exposure of tooth roots, making the teeth sensitive and painful.
A cracked or fractured tooth is incredibly painful, especially when chewing or when exposed to temperature changes. The severity of the pain varies depending on the extent and location of the fracture.
Tooth sensitivity causes sharp, sudden pain when the teeth are exposed to hot or cold foods and beverages, sweet or acidic substances, or when brushing. It often results from exposed dentin, which contains tiny channels that connect to the tooth's nerves.
Other possible causes of a toothache include impacted wisdom teeth, dental trauma, teeth grinding (bruxism), dental work complications, and sinus infections, which can create referred pain to the upper teeth.
Find Tooth Pain Relief With These Treatments
Every pain case is different, which is why visiting an experienced dentist as soon as possible helps you get vital treatment for your tooth pain.
- Fillings. If tooth pain is caused by dental decay (cavities), a dentist typically removes the decayed portion of the tooth and places a dental filling. Fillings help restore the tooth's structure and prevent further decay, alleviating the pain.
- Root canal. When tooth pain is due to an infected or abscessed tooth, a root canal procedure may be necessary. During this treatment, the infected pulp inside the tooth is removed, and the root canals are cleaned and sealed to eliminate the infection and relieve pain.
- Tooth extraction. In cases where a tooth is severely damaged, decayed beyond repair, or impacted, extraction may be the best solution to alleviate the pain and prevent further complications.
- Gum disease treatment. For tooth pain caused by advanced gum disease (periodontitis), the dentist may recommend scaling and root planing or other gum disease treatments to remove plaque and tartar from below the gumline and reduce inflammation.
- Desensitizing treatment. Tooth sensitivity can be managed with desensitizing treatments. These treatments may include applying desensitizing agents or fluoride to the sensitive areas of the teeth to reduce discomfort.
Self-diagnosis and self-treatment are not recommended, as they may not address the underlying issue effectively and could lead to further complications. Early intervention and proper dental care provide tooth pain relief and preserve oral health.