Cavities, Bad Breath and Other Embarrassing Topics

4 Types of Tooth Pain and What They Mean

When you begin to feel pain in your mouth, the first thing to do is try to identify the cause. Tooth pain comes in several forms. The type of pain you are experiencing should give you a clue as to what oral condition you have.

The following types of pain are four of the most common oral pain types.

1. Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity doesn't have a single cause. The sensitivity could have several causes, with the most common being:

  • Enamel erosion
  • Dental cavity
  • Gum recession
  • Loose filling

In all of these cases, the sensitive area of your tooth, the nerve, lacks protection. As such, hot and cold temperatures reach the nerve more easily than before, sending pain signals to your brain every time you drink something hot or cold.

2. Sharp pain when biting down

If eating has become difficult because you experience sharp pain when you bite down, you could have a loose filling or crown. You'll need to see your dentist to have the filling or crown repaired. Sharp pain can also occur if a tooth is cracked or fractured. In both cases, the pain won't go away without treatment. You'll need your dentist's help to fix the problem and stop the pain.

3. Dull, persistent pain

If your pain is dull and persistent, you may have a gum issue. Sometimes, when food such as a popcorn kernel lodges under the gum tissue, a dull pain will persist until you remove the food. The same is true if food gets stuck between two teeth. Try to rinse the food out from under your gum or between your teeth. But seek the help of your dentist if you can't remove the food because the infection is a risk.

4. A constant throbbing ache

When tooth pain never stops for a moment and has a throbbing quality to it that might sometimes spread throughout your jaw, you probably have a tooth infection. When the pain begins, the tooth infection has just set in and the nerve in the tooth has not yet died. However, once the nerve dies, an abscess will form inside the tooth, and the pain will worsen, along with the infection.

A tooth infection requires immediate dental care.

In most cases, dental pain means that you probably need to see your dentist. The longer you put off seeing your dentist, the worse the condition will get, so book your dental appointment as soon as you can. 

For more questions about dentistry, contact a local dentist.