8 Different Types of Tooth Pain and Causes
At one time in your life, you might have complained of a toothache. A toothache can be described as pain in and around the jaws and teeth. It is mainly caused by tooth decay. The severity of tooth pain oscillates between mildly annoying to extremely painful. This can be sporadic pain that comes and goes or persistent, nagging pain that stays with you. It can be difficult to establish if the pain is in the upper jaw or the tooth.
Few things are worse than tooth pain. The different types of tooth pain make it difficult to bite, chew, concentrate, get through the day or even sleep at night no matter what over-the-counter medication you take. The source of the pain may be dental decay, an injury, or tooth infection.
Here is a list with the different types of tooth pain and causes:
1. Dull or Constant Tooth Pain
This type of tooth pain indicates that the pulp or the innermost layer is decaying. The decay attacks the nerves from within the pulp, causing the pain. Typically, you would need a root canal treatment, but if the pain stops on its own, it means the nerves have died, but the decay is still there. If not treated, it can spread and cause significant damage.
2. Severe Gum Pain
These types of tooth pain are very common. If there is extreme pain on a spot on your gum, especially an area that is sensitive to touch, it means you have an abscess, an infection that develops on the gum because of gum disease or infection spreading from the tooth pulp to the gum tissue.
3. Back of the Jaw Pain
Most often, you can experience teeth grinding and clenching while asleep or when you are stressed. You may also experience teeth grinding and clenching when you are concentrating on a task. The grinding and clenching can cause damage to the teeth over time and result in jaw pain, which mainly emanates from the wisdom teeth.
Pain may sometimes originate from other areas and travel all the way into the jaw, making it appear as tooth pain. Most people who grind their teeth and clench their jaw aren’t aware they are doing it.
4. Sensitivity to Cold
If you experience a sudden random tooth sensitivity or pain that is sharp and intense, you have irritation of the nerves. It could also indicate enamel loss or gum recession, which is usually caused by abrasive brushing.
Whenever there is decay, the protective enamel is broken, elevating sensitivity. It might also mean the tooth is worn out from aggressive grinding. In severe cases, even cold air can cause pain
5. Sensitivity to Hot Foods and Drinks
The pain usually lingers a little longer, indicating bacteria infection on the nerves. It might also be an indication of a cracked tooth. When the protective enamel is damaged, the pulp and the nerves are exposed.
Pulpitis is reversible when the pain is mild to moderate and lasts for a short time after a stimulus. It may be irreversible if the pain is, spontaneous, severe, and persists long after a stimulus. If it is not treated, it may lead to apical periodontitis or pulp necrosis.
6. Wisdom Tooth Pain
If your wisdom teeth are hurting, this may be because they are growing in. You are likely to experience pain, a slight swelling, and soreness when they break through the gums. As they break, the resultant tooth eruption causes wisdom tooth pain.
Dentist call this condition impacted wisdom teeth, which is usually an ache that comes and disappears over time. The only solution to impacted teeth is to have them extracted.
7. Gum Pain
If the pain is minor and constant and the gum swells, it could mean something is stuck in your gums or between your teeth. The remedy is to floss thoroughly and wait to see if the pain subsides.
8. Pain When Eating
Regardless of how hot or cold your food is, you may experience pain when eating due to tooth decay or dental fracture. In such a situation, you need to seek medical attention fast before the condition worsens. The dentist may recommend filling or crowns to restore your teeth’s function.
Always pay attention to the source of your tooth pain. Does it occur when you bite down on something or when you yawn, or is it triggered by just touching the affected tooth? Sharp pain most frequently comes from some form of physical teeth damage. The tooth cups could be fractured, or there could be decay or wear around the gum line.
The only sure way to know what is causing your tooth pain is to see a dentist who will examine you to try to identify the exact source of the pain. The faster you address tooth pain, the less the chance it could turn into something more serious.