Sudden Tooth Pain? Here’s What Might Be Causing It

Sudden Tooth Pain? Here’s What Might Be Causing It

Posted by Eldridge Dental on May 11 2023, 03:27 AM

There are many possible causes of sudden tooth pain. However, the most common cause is inflammation due to plaque buildup on the teeth. The bacteria in the plaque produce toxins that irritate and inflame the gum tissues around your teeth, causing redness, swelling, and pain.

Plaque can be removed with a professional cleaning. A thorough exam can reveal any hidden decay or cracks that are contributing to your pain. If you are experiencing tooth pain or discomfort, contact your dental office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Leaving untreated cavities or broken crowns can cause further damage to your teeth and gums. Here are the most common causes of tooth ache.

  • Temperature sensitivity

If you find that the temperature in foods and drinks affects the pain in your tooth, it might be a sign of temperature sensitivity. This occurs when your dentin is exposed due to receding gums. When this occurs, even mildly hot or cold foods can give you intense pain.

If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold, but you haven't experienced gum recession, you might have a mild cavity or an abscessed tooth. Both of these conditions can cause pain and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.

  • Gum recession

There are many potential causes of gum recession, including genetics, age, and the presence of gum disease. While receding gums can be problematic, the main concern comes from how sensitive the teeth have become. Teeth become extremely sensitive when they no longer have enamel covering them, which is what happens when gums recede. Without enamel to protect teeth from daily wear and tear, even brushing can cause pain. Additionally, when teeth are hypersensitive to hot and cold temperatures, eating certain foods can become difficult as well. 

  • Cavity

If you've had cavities in the past, you may be especially prone to having another. That's because decay-causing bacteria can hide deep inside your tooth enamel. That bacteria can cause a new cavity if it finds its way back into your tooth enamel. That's why it's so important to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing every day and getting regular checkups with your dentist.

When tooth decay has progressed through the enamel into the inner layer of the tooth called the dentin, that's a more serious situation that may require restorative treatment like a filling or perhaps even a root canal procedure to restore health and function back to the tooth.

  • Gum infection

If your gum line is receding and exposing parts of your tooth roots, you may be at risk for an infection in the roots of your teeth. The roots of teeth aren't protected by enamel like the tooth crowns, so they're more susceptible to damage. Bacteria can accumulate in the roots and cause painful infections like abscesses. If left untreated, the infection may spread to your jawbone or cause tooth loss.

If you notice your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth, you may have gum disease. See your dentist right away for an exam to determine if this is the cause of your sudden tooth pain. If it is, your dentist may recommend professional deep cleaning or root planing and scaling to clean out the bacteria from the root of your tooth before it progresses.

  • Cracked tooth or crown

A cracked tooth and a crown are the two most common reasons people experience sudden pain in their teeth. The nerves in your teeth sometimes become exposed due to a crack or break in the tooth. This may lead to a sensation of "sharp" pain in your tooth when eating hot food or beverages. 

If you've experienced a cracked or injured tooth, consult your dentist as soon as possible for a thorough examination and proper diagnosis. You'll want to have a restoration placed quickly to protect your weakened tooth and prevent further problems.

  • Sinus infection

Your dentist will examine your mouth and teeth for signs of sinus issues. If sinus infections are suspected to be the cause of your pain, your general dentist might refer you to an ear-nose-throat specialist to treat the nasal problem. Once treated, you can go back to your dentist for continued treatment.

  • Jaw clenching

When you clench your teeth together, this can cause problems for your teeth and jaw. Sometimes people do this in reaction to stress or anxiety, while other times, they do it out of habit. Either way, it puts a lot of strain on your joint and the surrounding muscles. Over time, this can lead to pain in your jaw and difficulty opening your mouth all the way. Your dentist can recommend ways to reduce how often you clench your jaw and how severe it is. They may also recommend an occlusal guard to protect your teeth at night while you sleep.

If you are looking for an experienced dentist who can help you maintain good oral hygiene, schedule a consultation with our dentists at Eldridge Dental in Houston, Texas. You can reach us at (713) 983-0099 or visit our office at 6370 N. Eldridge Pkwy, Suite B, Houston, TX 77041.

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6370 N. Eldridge Pkwy, Suite B, Houston, TX 77041

Phone: (713) 983-0099

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Tuesday : 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Wednesday : Closed

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Friday : 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Sunday : Closed

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Phone: (713) 983-0099

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