Tooth Pain

10 Common Types of Tooth Pain

Tooth pain or ache can result from different things, and getting treatment will depend on the cause of the pain. It is important to identify the cause of a toothache and suitable treatment to alleviate the pain.

Everyone feels body pain at some point. It is your body's way of informing you there is a problem. Sometimes, the pain is easy to identify. Other times, you may not know the cause of the pain.

Tooth pain or ache can result from different things, and getting treatment will depend on the cause of the pain. It is important to identify the cause of a toothache and suitable treatment to alleviate the pain.

Here are common types of tooth pain.

  • Cavities

Cavities, often called dental caries are one of the most common causes of toothache. A cavity is a tooth decay resulting from bacteria infecting a tooth. Most cavities do not cause pain, but a large cavity may lead to tooth pain and sensitivity.

The tooth has blood vessels and nerves, and when the decay affects structures in the teeth, it leads to irritation.  

If you have a cavity, you would need to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a tooth filling. While you wait to see your dentist, brush your teeth normally and try not to avoid cleaning the affected area, but be careful not to apply too much pressure while scrubbing the area.

You can use an antiseptic mouthwash, such as Listerine, to rinse your mouth. This will reduce the pain from the cavity, but ensure you follow the directions for use in the label.

  • Infected tooth

Having a tooth infection is a serious issue that may become life-threatening if left untreated. The soft tissues in the teeth can become infected from trauma or decay. The tooth infection can spread to other body parts through the bloodstream, so you need to seek immediate dental care to save the infected tooth and preserve your health.  

Your dentist will likely perform a root canal to save the tooth and prescribe antibiotics. Depending on how severe the tooth infection is, the dentist may recommend other treatment for the infection.

Visiting an emergency room for severe toothache may not be the best solution as the healthcare provider may only administer pain relief medication for temporary relief. Your dentist is the right person to see to get a suitable treatment for the infected tooth.

  • TMD or TMJ issues

When you have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues, you may experience tooth pain. The TMJ may become inflamed or have other problems which cause pain in the teeth. These issues are known as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD).

Most times, TMD are mild and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen. If the pain does not subside and worsens, you may need to visit your dentist to know the cause of the pain and recommend an effective treatment.

  • Transferred muscular pain

Asides from pain in the jaw muscles, you can experience pain in your teeth from pain in the head muscles. Muscles such as those in the occipital region and face can become irritated and sore, leading to toothache.

You can also take over-the-counter pain relief medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the pain, but ensure you visit your dentist or GP to identify the problem if the pain persists.

  • Bruxism

Clenching and grinding the teeth while sleeping is medically referred to as bruxism. Signs of bruxism includes waking up with an aching jaw or your teeth wearing down excessively. Severe bruxism may cause TMD, tooth loss and chronic pain.  

Treating bruxism is possible, and you can contact your dentist to get a custom-made nightguard to protect your teeth and even out the pressure on your teeth while sleeping to prevent toothache.

  • Migraine

Migraines are more intense than simple headaches. They can cause nausea, severe pain, sound and light sensitivity. The pain usually affects the head but may be transferred to the teeth to cause toothache.

You can prevent this toothache by controlling the migraine. Visit your doctor or neurologist for treatments that would prevent episodes of migraines.

  • Dental trauma

Dental trauma may occur from falling, hitting your teeth against a hard object or teeth injury. Dental trauma may lead to soreness and pain. You can manage the pain with an over-the-counter medication if the teeth remain intact.

If you lose your tooth, ensure you see your dentist immediately. If your tooth gets knocked out, do not hold it by the root; try to place it on the socket while you wait to see your dentist. If you can't place the tooth in the socket, put it in a glass of clean water or milk and try to see the dentist immediately to increase your chance of saving the tooth.

  • Cardiac problems

Although the typical symptom of a heart attack is chest pain, the pain may also affect the face and teeth. However, having a toothache does not mean you are experiencing a heart attack.

Sometimes, cardiac issues manifest as pain in the mouth, teeth and arms. If you have chest pain alongside these other symptoms, ensure you seek emergency medical care.  

  • Teeth sensitivity

Experiencing a sensitivity to cold or hot food and drinks may cause toothache. Ice cream, coffee and hot food may trigger pain in the teeth.

Although teeth sensitivity can be mild, visit your dentist as it may also be a sign of a more severe problem. If the sensitivity is mild, your dentist may recommend desensitising toothpaste or treatment to reduce the pain. Most pregnant women experience tooth sensitivity during pregnancy.

  • Diabetes

When you do not manage diabetes, it may lead to other health issues, including teeth pain. Abnormally high levels of blood sugar may affect blood circulation, limiting blood flow to the teeth. The restricted blood flow may prevent nutrients from getting to the teeth and reduce the teeth's ability to heal.  

People with diabetes may also experience nerves pain and other life-threatening symptoms. Ensure your dentist knows that you have diabetes and update them on controlling your blood sugar levels. Ensure you work with your endocrinologist or primary care doctor to keep your blood sugar level within the normal range.   

If you have any form of teeth pain, ensure you inform your dentist and try to keep your teeth clean as this can prevent several dental issues that may lead to teeth pain. Your dental hygiene London is important if you want to avoid teeth pain.

If you haven't had professional teeth cleaning in a while, visit at  today to schedule an appointment with a dental hygienist.

If you experience teeth pain and not sure about its cause, contact your dentist immediately to get the right care and treatment.


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