Let’s talk about tooth pain. You may cry or cringe as you recall your own painful experience with a toothache, sensitive teeth or an injured tooth, but it’s an important topic to tackle. Knowing the causes of tooth pain and when to call for an appointment will save you pain, frustration and a few sleepless nights.
Sensitive Tooth Pain
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, one in eight people suffer from sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth are typically caused by damage to the tooth enamel caused by acid erosion that leaves the sensitive dentin exposed. If you’re experiencing sharp pain when drinking a hot cup of coffee or a glass of ice water or when you eat crunchy or sugary foods, you probably have sensitive teeth. Mention your sensitive teeth at your next appointment. There are numbing agents that can be applied to your teeth to reduce your pain, and we can also recommend special sensitive toothpastes or mouth rinses for you.
(RELATED: What Causes a Toothache Besides a Cavity?)
Sudden and Stabbing Pain
Sudden and stabbing tooth pain can stop you in your tracks. This type of tooth pain may indicate that you have tooth decay or damage to your enamel, like a cracked or broken tooth. Frequently, this type of pain comes and goes, and may happen in response to a stimulus, such as chewing, talking or opening and closing your mouth.
Sudden, stabbing pain can also indicate the presence of an infection. If you’re experiencing sudden, stabbing pain, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with us to get thoroughly examined.
Chronic Nagging Pain
(RELATED: Home Remedies for Some Dental Pain)
Chronic tooth pain can be dull or sharp. One of the most common reasons behind chronic dull tooth pain is grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. Over time, the act of the teeth grinding or rubbing against each other wears down the enamel, causing pain and sensitivity. The constant tension caused by grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw causes the muscles in the jaw to be tight and make your teeth hurt, too. Tooth grinding can lead to extensive enamel damage, and jaw clenching can lead to irreversible damage to the joints of your jaw.
If your pain is persistent, you may have an infection in the gums or pulp of your tooth. Other signs of infection include swelling, fever, ear pain, sore throat or swollen glands. Eating, talking and sleeping become uncomfortable, if not impossible, with infected teeth. Call THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® immediately if you experience this kind of tooth pain, as infections that are left untreated can lead to serious and dangerous health complications.
Other Types of Tooth Pain
Pain can also develop in your teeth or jaw because your bite or jaw is out of balance. This situation can cause premature and uneven wear and tear on your jaw joints, a condition known as TMD. Patients with TMD frequently experience pain, loss of jaw function, ear pain, migraines and even balance issues because of their condition.
Wisdom teeth eruption is also painful. This is because many wisdom teeth are impacted, or blocked from fully erupting through the gums because of another tooth being in the way. Wisdom teeth can cause jaw and ear pain, headaches, sore throat, swollen glands and even neck pain.
About THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®
THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.