Are you troubled by tooth pain, along with pain in the jaw or gums? Do you ever find yourself wondering why your teeth hurt? You might be surprised to know that according to a survey by American Family Physician, 22 percent of adults experienced similar pain in the last six months. There can be multiple reasons for this pain. The most likely causes are increased tooth sensitivity, tooth infection, or cracked teeth.
Are you confused and wondering that what makes your teeth hurt and what to do for a toothache? Should you let the tooth pain subside on its own or visit a doctor? This post answer all these questions for you and more.
What is a Toothache?
If you feel pain, inflammation, or severe discomfort around a tooth or multiple teeth, you are experiencing a toothache. Minor toothache can be taken care by toothache remedies at home, like rinsing with saltwater. But if your teeth are hurting due to some major dental issue, you need to visit a dentist to get them treated.
What Causes Toothache?
There can’t be a single answer to what is the cause of toothache. However, the fundamental toothache causes are listed here. Check out if you identify with any of them.
- Teeth Eruption from the gums
- Surgical teeth removal like the removal of wisdom teeth
- Damaged teeth filling
- Gum infection
- Wearing down of teeth due to constant chewing gum
- Clenching or grinding of teeth
- Bacterial infection in the center of the tooth also known as an abscessed tooth
- Tooth decay
- A broken tooth or tooth fracture
What are the Symptoms of Toothache?
You might feel the following toothache symptoms if you are suffering from tooth pain:
- Infected tooth secreting foul-tasting drainage.
- Feeling pain when pressure is applied to the tooth, for example, while biting.
- Foul smell from mouth.
- Headache or fever.
- Constant and sharp tooth pain.
- Swelling around the affected tooth.
What Are The Triggers of Toothache?
Apart from the primary toothache causes mentioned above, there are various triggers that lead to tooth pain. Any of these 20 factors can be your culprit:
- Exposure to Extreme Temperatures – Eating or drinking something extremely cold or hot can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel and exposure of nerves in your teeth. It can cause pain and irritation in the teeth.
- Wear & Tear of Gums – Gum tissues begin to degenerate with age. That is called gum recession. It exposes the root of your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to infections and cavities.
- Enamel Erosion – Here comes the answer to why do my teeth hurt when I eat. It happens because your teeth sometimes get hypersensitive due to enamel erosion. Thus your teeth hurt when they move and come in contact with food.
- Tooth Cavity – Tooth cavities develop into tiny holes in your tooth, which causes slow decay of teeth from the sides and tops of the enamel. This gradual decay of the tooth leads to infection and pain.
- Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease is a kind of gum disease, also known as gingivitis. This condition makes your gums weak hence pushing your teeth in an unprotected and painful state.
- Broken or Cracked Tooth – When you accidentally break your teeth or crown, pain is bound to occur. Sometimes the crack can be so minute that you might not be able to understand the cause of your toothache. Only a dentist can detect it.
- Inflamed Sinus – Elevated sinus infection spreads all over your face and increases pressure on your teeth and jaw nerves. So if you have a sinus infection, the chances are that you may also face tooth pain.
- Grinding Or Clenching – Grinding teeth or clenching jaw makes your teeth hypersensitive. People suffering from bruxism often grind their teeth, eroding their enamel and causing pain.
- Side Effect of Dental Procedure – Dental procedures expose your teeth to drilling. So you might feel pain as a side effect for few days. However, your dentist will prescribe you painkillers after the procedure.
- Teeth Whitening Products – OTC whitening products or the products used in professional teeth whitening can sometimes cause tooth sensitivity. But this effect is often temporary.
- Excessive Use of Mouthwash – Overdoing rinsing with mouthwash can also be a toothache cause. This is because the mouthwash contains acid. So don’t swish more than once or twice a day.
- Trigeminal Neuralgia – It is rare nerve damage that causes extreme pain in the nerves of your head. This pain also shifts to your teeth which you can feel while eating, brushing, and drinking.
- Acidic Diet – Eating highly acidic foods like citrus fruits, candies, coffee, and soda harm the enamel of your teeth. When your enamel is damaged, the sensitivity of your teeth and the chances of getting cavities increases.
- TMJ Disorder – The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) joins your jaw and skull with each other like a hinge. If you develop a TMJ disorder, it irritates your teeth and jaw nerves, causing extreme pain.
- Pregnancy – During pregnancy, your dental health is most vulnerable, and you can easily develop cavities or gum infections. Therefore you should consult your dentist if you are pregnant.
- Intense Workout – This is the least expected toothache cause. But it’s a fact that too much workout leads to cavities and enamel erosion. It can be because of less saliva production during exercise.
- Heart Problems – Call your physician at once if your tooth pain is accompanied with nausea, chest pain, and sweating. All these can be symptoms of a severe heart problem where pain spreads to the parts of your upper body.
- Oral Cancer – Oral cancer might be triggering your tooth pain. Check if your teeth and mouth constantly hurt despite taking toothache remedies. An odd patch or bump in your mouth is also a sign of oral cancer.
- Vomiting – Your teeth constantly come in contact with your stomach acid when you throw up. And you throw up frequently when you are pregnant or suffer from alcoholism or bulimia. This leads to enamel erosion and tooth pain.
- Dehydration – Water washes away the leftover food particles from your teeth and gums. It also prevents dry mouth. Not drinking enough water adversely affects your dental health and can be a primary toothache cause.
Contact Coral Dental Care, your local dentist in Salem, if your toothache is not getting healed by home remedies in 1 or 2 days. However, if you are also experiencing fever, earache, swelling in your mouth with severe tooth pain, you should immediately contact your dentist. But don’t worry, as toothache is perfectly curable. Moreover, timely treatment can save tooth infections from spreading to other parts of the face and bloodstream.
Dr. Anu Isaac, DMD, runs a successful dental practice in Salem, MA. Dr. Isaac strives for quality on a daily basis and this commitment to quality is reflected in her constant pursuit of advanced training. Her firm belief that even experts need to stay updated about what’s new in the dental field, enables her to provide every patient with optimal oral care. As the founder of Coral Dental Care, she is dedicated to creating healthy, beautiful smiles for her patients and also to educating dental and non-dental community with her engaging articles on all things related to oral health, recent dental innovations, and latest treatment modalities.