Toothache Information – Why Does My Tooth Hurt?

Have you ever felt sudden or constant tooth pain? A painful tooth often results from an irritated nerve. All the same, pain can be felt due to dental plaque or tartar, cavities, trauma, cracks, gum disease or damaged dental appliances. As you cannot easily tell the condition you are suffering from, it is good to see a dentist in uptown. You might even be surprised to learn that you have TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, bruxism, loose teeth or sleep apnea. The only sure way to know if the problem is in your mouth, sinuses, jaws or facial muscle is to see a doctor.

 Some pregnant women feel pain in teeth due to their changing levels of hormones. Most women are highly likely to develop tooth decay and gingivitis during pregnancy. That’s why we insist on seeing your best 77027 dentist every six months or at least once a year. This way issues that could worsen in the near future can be detected and solved immediately. With just thorough oral hygiene, such as flossing and brushing, you can avoid tooth pain.  This is, particularly, true if you have your teeth professionally cleaned and then continue brushing twice and flossing your teeth once a day.

Causes of dental pain

Pain that attacks just the tooth is mostly due to decay.  Such an ache happens when there has been serious inflammation of the central area of your tooth—pulp. This core area has nerve endings that can respond to pain so sensitively. Also called pulpitis, inflammation of the pulp is due to things that come into contact with your tooth. The leading triggers include:

  • Cavities/ tooth decay
  • Teeth grinding or bruxism
  • Impacted wisdom tooth
  • Tooth abscess
  • Gingivitis or periodontitis/periodontal disease
  • Sensitivity to hold or cold beverages or edibles
  • Pregnancy
  • Broken tooth
  • Cracks or fractures
  • Broken dental crowns or fillings
  • Braces
  • Gum recession that exposes the roots of your teeth
  • Canker sores or cold sores
  • Acid erosion

As you can see, teeth can hurt badly due to various reasons. However, an abscessed tooth and injury to the tooth are rather common causes.

  • What’s a tooth abscess? - It can be described as a condition where the tooth nerve or pulp is infected. This often occurs when you have a dental cavity that stays untreated and penetrates your tooth. Sometimes a tooth abscess affects a broken or fractured tooth. This is simply because the pulp itself is left open and can be attacked by dental bacteria. These microscopic creatures can access the pulp through the root canals and attack even your bone tissue. Another type of abscess that could cause a toothache is the one that develops between your gum tissue and root of your tooth. It is usually called a periodontal abscess.
  • Trauma – Another way your dental nerve endings can be put at risk of damage and pain is if they are injured. This can happen if your tooth is knocked out completely or if it gets fractured severely. Such an injury can expose your tooth to bacteria that cause decay. Sometimes the nerve can hurt after having dental appliances placed. If your decay is severe, the type of dental appliance fixed to eliminate pain will get closer to the dental nerve. In such a case, your nerve could hurt.

How to know you have a toothache                                        

One thing numerous people can attest to is that jaw pain and toothache will mainly happen at once. Sometimes there is just mild pain felt when one eats hot or cold things or when an aching tooth is touched. Other times the pain can be excruciating when pressure or heat is applied. It can last for more than fifteen seconds. If such a thing happens, it may indicate a more serious problem. When pain shifts to the ear, jaw or cheek, there is usually severe inflammation of the tooth. Basically, these are the symptoms to expect to see when you have a toothache.

  • Pain when you try to chew food or gum
  • Sensitivity can be felt when you eat or drink cold or hot things
  • Gum bleeding around the affected tooth. Sometimes there can be pus from a self-draining abscess.
  • Trauma to the affected area
  • Swelling of the cheek or jaw

If you have a decayed tooth with a hole, you should automatically know that the pain is emanating from it. Additionally, redness affecting your gum line around a certain tooth could be the root of pain. If you tap your teeth and come across a tooth that feels a lot of pain, it could be the infected tooth in your mouth. Take the matter to the best uptown dentist even if the aching tooth seems okay.  He is the only specialist who can distinguish a toothache from other types of dental issues.

The problem could be right inside your ear, nostrils or throat, or perhaps you have an injury to your jaw joint that attaches your jaw to the skull. Referred pain or the type of ache that comes from a deeper structure can be conveyed down your nerve and felt in your tooth or jaw. If you get evaluated by a professional who has enough knowledge and expertise, your discomfort will be found with ease.

When to seek help

It is not advisable to wait until your dental discomfort becomes an emergency situation. Acting as soon as you notice abnormal sensations in your mouth or face is important.  Keep the following points in mind:

  • Dental ache may go away after taking a pain killer, of course, but the root of the problem will remain.
  • Most dental problems can be cured if discovered early and a lot of pain can be avoided in future.
  • Pain after a tooth has been pulled out is rather common, but it should not go beyond two days. If it does, chances are that you have a dry socket syndrome. This refers to a situation where a blood clot that should be left to form in the empty socket is dislodged or doesn’t form at all. If the socket is left dry, it means that your bone and nerve endings are exposed and can hurt a lot. In case this happens, visit a dental clinic immediately.
  • If there is swelling of gums and/or face, which could be the cause of your pain, it could mean that you have gum disease or an infection around the tooth itself or your jawbone. Fever is a good indication of a dental disease while swelling and fever can mean that you have an abscess. Dental abscess of the gum or tooth should be healed with antibiotics plus draining of the abscess bump through a minor surgery.
  • The best way to remove a dental abscess from the inside of a tooth without removing it is a root canal therapy. Also called an endodontic treatment, a root canal involves the removal of the whole infected stuff from your tooth.
  • Knocked out or broken teeth are rather common, especially, with playful kids. This is usually a dental emergency that should be reported right away. The sooner you see a professional dentist, the lower the risk of infection and the higher the chances that a tooth can be saved.
  • If your baby has damaged its baby teeth/primary teeth, have them crowned to stop further decay or to treat a dental trauma. If you act now, your child’s adult or permanent teeth will be stronger.
  • If discomfort is felt at the angle of your jaw when opening your mouth, you might have TMJ-related dental issues. If this joint is either inflamed or injured, pain is likely to be the first response. Sometimes pain begins when one bites something bigger than their jaw joints can open. The right thing is to see your dentist midtown Houston specialist who can eliminate your pain.
  • Wisdom teeth commonly trigger dental discomfort. These are back molars that erupt when a child is seventeen years and older. Pain can be as a result of gum inflammation around an erupted wisdom tooth crown. If not addressed, the mild inflammation can result to a gum infection. Generally associated with the lower third molar, wisdom teeth pain can affect your ear and jaw. If the affected area is too swollen, the jaw cannot close well. In a severe case of wisdom teeth issues, your throat and the floor of your mouth could hurt when you try to swallow food.
  • Sometimes the cause of tooth pain has nothing to do with your teeth. If you have ever had a heart attack or angina (chest pain), rashes or trauma, your toothache could be related to something other than your dental structures. If your midtown dentistry expert discovers that this is your medical history, he or she might refer you to a different professional or send you to the emergency room.

Here are some of the problems your oral specialist can note and refer you to another doctor or emergency room.

  • A bigger infection that is giving you chills or fever.
  • A recent injury to the face or head that might have started other symptoms: nausea, vomiting, headaches, or dizziness. Besides having bleeding gums from a knocked out or fractured tooth, you might have a brain injury that must be treated at once.
  • If you feel chest pain and jaw pain, your dental specialist will send you to a medical expert who can examine you for a heart related condition. If you live with diabetes, or heart disease, let your dentist know so that they can act in the most sensible manner. If you often feel dental pain plus shortness of breath, dizziness and sweating, you need more attention than your dentist can manage.
  • A facial rash could indicate a tooth infection that has been going on gradually. So, have your mouth examined every year or twice a year so that infections can be spotted on time. Infections that are more severe might require stronger treatment methods. For instance, a dental abscess may not be cured by antibiotics alone. Your doctor might recommend intravenous antibiotics.


A toothache is usually detected via X-rays and a physical exam. Your medical history may also be requested to determine whether your ache is related to a bodily sickness. To evaluate a tooth further, doctors use cone beam computed tomography and panoramic radiographs.  Any cause that is unrelated to teeth, gums or jaw are forwarded to a relevant specialist. On the other hand, dental-related issues are solved by a dentist.

Treatment options

 An aching tooth will usually be treated based on the diagnosis. If the nerve or pulp is damaged just enough to save a tooth, root canal therapy is often picked. On the other hand, a tooth crown that has broken until the gum line level is surgically removed. Sometimes the crown is decayed but can still be held and extracted.  Dental extraction is usually the last resort. An alternative solution is a dental filling or crown and this can be done by the top dental crown 77027 dentist.  A crown is often placed on top of a tooth crown to hide it from the things that erode tooth enamel. Special care should be given to the installed crowns to protect the gum beneath it from an infection and to keep the shielded tooth’s nerve from being reached by bacteria.

This is if the tooth pulp or nerve is left intact during the crowning process. At home, make sure you use OTC pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol and make sure that you don’t consume cold or hot foods or drinks. You may also place a drop of clove oil on a small piece of cotton wool and place it inside the aching tooth. Remember to keep on brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing at least once a day to avoid bad breath and further deterioration of teeth and gums. Above all, see your dentist 77002 expert for instant thorough checkup and treatment.