Pain is usually a sign that something is wrong and if you’re experiencing pain in your teeth, it’s essential to get to the root cause. Not just to help you get out of pain, but to address the problem at bay to prevent future pain and other problems from occurring. At Beyond Exceptional Dentistry, our patients often ask us why their teeth hurt. Unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons why your teeth might hurt, so we will have to rule out the potential cause during an examination. To give you an idea of possible reasons why your teeth hurt, explore our list below.
1. Gum Recession
Gum recession is usually the result of age, gum disease, or clenching and grinding your teeth. When the gums recede away from the tooth, it usually begins to expose the roots of your teeth. The roots of your teeth are much more sensitive than the other surface area of your teeth. That’s because the roots of your teeth protect your teeth’s nerve endings. With such close contact with the nerves, the root exposure can cause your teeth to feel extra sensitive. If you look in the mirror and examine your teeth only to see gum recession and some root exposure, it’s likely this is the cause of why your teeth hurt.
If the pain becomes too bothersome, we can apply bonding over the root to prevent sensitivity and pain.
2. Exposure to Cold or Heat
If your teeth hurt whenever you consume something hot or cold in temperature, it’s likely your teeth are just sensitive to temperature changes. Worn enamel or exposed roots can cause sharp pains when you come into contact with low or high temperatures. Using sensitivity toothpaste can help prevent this discomfort. If it doesn’t subside, we will recommend the best solution for your teeth.
3. Enamel Erosion
Nearly 12% of people experience dentin hypersensitivity that causes tooth pain when they eat. The cause of this sensitivity is by brushing their teeth too hard, eating a highly acidic diet, or other factors. As the enamel wears away, it can cause stabbing pain and shivers up your spine when eating certain foods.
4. Cracked Tooth
Cracking a tooth can cause sensitivity and pain. It’s important to visit your dentist at the first sign of a crack because it can be more severe than it actually appears. The only way to tell is with a dental x-ray. Once we assess the severity of the crack, we can provide you with a treatment that prevents the crack from growing larger and corrects the damage. This will prevent pain and sensitivity that comes with cracked teeth.
5. Gum Infection
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and affects over 47% of adults over 30 years old. One of the side effects of gum disease is sensitive gums and teeth. Visiting the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings is a great way to prevent gum disease and to treat it in its earliest stages.
6. Sinus Infection
If you’re prone to sinus infections and notice that your teeth also hurt when you get one, it’s because your sinuses become inflamed and filled with pressure. The pressure then compresses your teeth’s nerve endings. After you treat your sinus infection, the pain in your teeth will subside.
7. Dental Procedures
It’s possible for your teeth to feel extra sensitive after getting a procedure that requires drilling. The drilling makes the nerve endings more sensitive. A simple tooth filling can result in sensitivity that lasts for up to two weeks. If you experience pain after a dental procedure and it doesn’t pass after two weeks, please visit us for assistance.
8. Teeth Bleaching Products
One reason we urge our patients to steer clear of over the counter whitening products is that they don’t take tooth sensitivity into account. If you know your teeth feel extra sensitive after using whitening products, you need to use the correct product to whiten your teeth without the sensitivity. We recommend stopping the use of whitening products if they cause you sensitivity. We’re happy to recommend a whitening product to you that whitens without the sensitivity side effect.
9. Tooth Decay
If you have tooth decay, also referred to as a cavity, and it’s untreated, it might cause tooth pain. Usually, cavities begin to hurt once they’re progressing towards an infection. Once the tooth becomes infected, a root canal becomes necessary to save the tooth. If you experience any sudden pain in a tooth, it’s important to visit us immediately so we can provide you with treatment. Attending regular dental cleanings and checkups is a great way to treat cavities in their earliest stages so they can’t progress to infections or cause more pain and damage.
10. Grinding or Clenching Teeth
The last reason why your teeth might hurt is from grinding and clenching your teeth (bruxism). Bruxism is often a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder which is an imbalance in your jaw joints. When they don’t rest in their optimal position, it can cause you to clench and grind your teeth at night while you sleep. When you wake up, your teeth will hurt from the pressure they endured all night. You might also experience other symptoms like headaches, jaw pain, and face pain.
If you experience any of the symptoms of TMJ, we highly recommend visiting us for a TMJ evaluation in Savannah, GA. Once we diagnose your condition, we will give you a customized TMJ treatment that will help you stop grinding and clenching your teeth and ultimately help prevent your tooth pain. This involves first using our TENS machine to relax the muscles in the jaw, face, head, and neck. It also stimulates endorphins which provide natural pain relief. Once we know where your jaw should rest in its most comfortable position, we will provide an oral splint to help your jaw remain in this comfortable position. Hopefully, after treatment, you will never have to ask us why your teeth hurt ever again.