Why Does My Tooth Hurt?

Man experiencing a toothache

We’ve all been there. You develop a toothache that doesn’t seem to go away on its own. There are many reasons why you could be feeling pain in your mouth, so it can be difficult to know exactly what the cause is. Whether you’re experiencing mild sensitivity or extreme, throbbing pain, you shouldn’t have to suffer. Why is your tooth hurting right now? Your dentist in Northgate shares the most common reasons below and what can be done about them.

The Different Types of Dental Pain

Being able to accurately describe your pain to your dentist can go a long way in helping them determine what is causing your toothache. Let them know which of the following sounds familiar:

  • Sharp temperature sensitivity 
  • Pain while eating
  • Dull, nagging pain
  • Intermittent sharp pain
  • Persistent, throbbing pain

What Does Your Toothache Mean?

The reason behind toothaches often include:

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, more commonly known as a cavity, is one of the most common reasons for toothaches. Generally, the deeper a cavity is, the more pain you feel. Symptoms can range anywhere from mild temperature sensitivity to sharp, spontaneous pain. If you suspect that you could be suffering from tooth decay, make an appointment with your dentist so he or she can take a look.

Cracks

If you are feeling a dull pain while you eat, it’s possible that you could have a cracked or fractured tooth. As soon as you notice it, call your dentist so it can be checked out. 

Pulpitis

When the tissues in the center of the tooth, known as the pulp, become inflamed, it can cause pressure and put a strain on the gums and surrounding area. This condition causes severe pain and needs to be treated by your dentist right away.

Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth are fairly common and not a serious condition in itself. To relieve the discomfort, you could try using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

Gum Disease

When the gum tissue gets infected, it can recede and eventually lead to loose teeth or the loss of teeth if left untreated. Symptoms of gum disease include tenderness of the gum tissue and pain when chewing.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When your mouth does not have enough space for your wisdom teeth, they can become trapped under the gums. This causes pain and soreness. Talk to your dentist so he or she can evaluate your wisdom teeth and determine what further steps should be taken.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is caused by a buildup of bacteria in a tooth. It causes intense, throbbing pain, inflammation, and painful facial swelling. This is a dental emergency and should be treated by your dentist immediately!

Other Causes

Sometimes, toothaches can occur due to issues in other parts of the body, like a sinus infection or congestion.

If you are unsure about the cause of your toothache, give your dentist a call. He or she will be happy to answer any questions and help put an end to it. You’ll be back to feeling like yourself in no time!

About the Author

At Oak Tree Dental Care, Dr. Amin Tabatabaian and Dr. Subha are devoted to using their extensive training to restore and enhance the natural beauty of your smile. They are both active members of the American Dental Society and the Washington State Dental Society. They provide emergency dentistry as one of their many services. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (206) 207-0619.

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