“Why does my tooth hurt?” The answer to that question can either be simple or complicated. It can either mean that your toothache is nothing to worry about or that you need emergency dental care. To help you better understand toothaches, a dentist in Colorado Springs has put together the following list of common causes of tooth pain.
Braces, clear aligners, and other types of orthodontic treatment can all cause some soreness, particularly after adjustments. This type of discomfort is usually nothing to worry about. You can likely cope with it through OTC pain medications.
Wisdom Teeth or Dental Misalignment
Teeth that are not properly aligned can push against each other and lead to dental pain. Fully or partially impacted wisdom teeth are often guilty of this. They can also trap large chunks of food next to them, which can cause further pain. You may need braces or wisdom tooth extractions.
Overenthusiastic Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is vital, but it is also vital that you are gentle when you brush and floss. Being too rough when you clean your teeth can wear away at your enamel and cause dental sensitivity. You might also end up damaging your gums.
Jaw problems or stress can lead to involuntary nighttime grinding, which is otherwise known as bruxism. Bruxism places pressure on the jaw and teeth, and it can damage dental enamel. Often, a custom nightguard from a dentist is the best way to stop bruxism.
Damaged or Lost Restorations
If you lose a dental filling or crown, the tooth that it once protected will once again become vulnerable. It may be extra sensitive to pressure or changes in temperature. A dentist can provide a new restoration for you.
If your tooth enamel is thin, it will not adequately stop hot and cold temperatures from irritating the tooth’s inner layers. This can also occur if gum recession has exposed the roots of the teeth, which do not have any enamel to protect them.
A broken tooth may have its inner layers exposed, which can make it sensitive to temperatures and touch. It may also be more prone to develop an infection. A broken tooth is considered a dental emergency and requires prompt treatment.
Gum disease can cause the gums to recede and expose sensitive tooth roots. The gums themselves may also ache with a dull, persistent pain. You probably need periodontal therapy to get your oral health back on track.
An infection in the root of the tooth can lead to an abscess. The infection is also likely to inflame the tooth’s innermost layer and cause severe, throbbing pain. Just like a broken tooth, a dental abscess is an emergency that requires urgent care, usually in the form of root canal therapy.
Cavities are the most common cause for tooth pain. The deeper a cavity penetrates, the more likely you are to experience sensitivity and pain in the tooth. Getting decay treated as soon as possible can put a stop to the discomfort and save your tooth from further damage.
Why does your tooth hurt? There are many possible reasons. A dentist can diagnose the cause of the pain and help you find relief.
About the Author
Dr. Erick Anderson is a native of our area. He has over 20 years of experience in dentistry, and he is proud to share is expertise with families in our community. He offers a broad range of preventive and restorative treatments. To learn more about Dr. Anderson and his practice, contact our team at 719-593-0988.