Types of Tooth Pain and What They Mean

Identify your tooth pain

A Few of the Most Common Causes of Tooth Pain

Are you experiencing tooth pain? Are chronic toothaches getting in the way of your life? This pain can be caused by many different conditions, and you should not have to wonder what the cause could be.

Keep reading to learn about the different types of tooth pain and what conditions could cause them. 

Different Types of Tooth Pain

Knowing what could be affecting your dental health is key to having a healthy mouth. Here are a few examples of specific types of tooth pain:

  • Sharp pain
  • Severe and throbbing pain
  • Persistent and aching pain
  • Tooth sensitivity 

Not all experiences of tooth pain are caused by an underlying condition, but sometimes they may be. Regardless of what type of pain you are feeling, if you are experiencing tooth pain, you should seek the help of a dentist. 

Sharp Pain

Do you feel like there are knives stabbing your mouth? Is there a sharp, shooting pain in your jaw? If so, there are several different issues that could cause this type of tooth pain. The first condition that could cause a sharp pain in your mouth is a loose filling or a crown that has come off. When this happens, your natural tooth becomes unprotected and can be extremely sensitive to pressure and temperature. 

You could also be experiencing sharp pain because of a cracked tooth. Cracked teeth can leave sensitive areas of your teeth exposed, causing a lot of pain. Sharp pains in your mouth could also be a result of tooth decay. Untreated cavities can cause a sharp and intense toothache.

If a cavity or cracked tooth is deep enough, it could cause a buildup of bacteria in your tooth’s pulp. This could cause the pulp to become infected, which would lead to an abscessed tooth. Severe abscesses can also cause jaw pain. 

Severe and Throbbing Pain

A severe pain or throbbing sensation can also be caused by an abscessed tooth, a loose crown, or a damaged filling. Another reason you may be experiencing a severe toothache is because of a newly erupting tooth. In children, this means getting new teeth, and for adults, this means growing wisdom teeth.

When new teeth erupt, there is a chance they could become impacted. When a tooth is impacted, it may be blocked from growing through the gums, or it may grow horizontally instead of vertically. Impacted teeth can cause severe aches and throbbing sensations in the gums and jaws. 

Another condition called bruxism, or teeth grinding, can cause a severe and painful toothache. Most people living with this habit typically grind and clench their teeth the most while sleeping, but they may also clench them during the day. People grind their teeth for a variety of reasons, like genetics, stress, and having strong jaw muscles. Teeth grinding can cause your teeth to wear down over time, which increases their chances of decaying.

A condition called gingivitis can also cause a toothache. Gingivitis is what happens when your gums become infected, which can ultimately lead to gum disease or periodontitis. The bacteria from the infected gums builds up around the tooth and its roots and causes an infection in the gum tissue, which results in a throbbing, painful sensation. 

Persistent and Aching Pain

A dull toothache is often the cause of something stuck in your teeth. It can also be caused by something being stuck in your gums. Although this pain is not sharp or severe, you should still take it seriously and monitor it. It may be an early indication of a more serious issue like an abscessed tooth or bruxism. Persistent and aching tooth pain could also be an indicator of tooth decay, cavities, or a sinus infection. In this case, you may feel pain in your upper back teeth. 

Tooth Sensitivity 

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, you most likely feel pain when you eat or drink something cold or hot. You may also experience pain when eating sweet or acidic foods or drinks. Tooth sensitivity can be caused by tooth decay or broken teeth, but some people’s tooth sensitivity is caused by their oral hygiene routine. Using an extremely hard toothbrush or brushing your teeth too hard can cause tooth sensitivity because it wears down the enamel on your teeth. You can also cause tooth sensitivity by using mouthwash too frequently. Mouthwashes are acidic, and some contain alcohol, which can cause damage to your dentin, the middle layer of your tooth.

Bruxism can also cause tooth sensitivity for the same reason, as it also wears down your enamel. Tooth enamel is the hard outer coating that protects the crown of your tooth. Without it, the inside of the tooth becomes exposed, causing tooth sensitivity. 

Other conditions, like gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, can cause sensitive teeth as well. This condition causes acid from your stomach to enter your mouth, which can wear down your enamel over time.

Tooth sensitivity can affect all, a few, or just one of your teeth. You may also experience temporary tooth sensitivity after whitening your teeth, getting tooth fillings, or getting crowns. However, this tooth sensitivity should go away after a few days. 

Solve your toothache troubles.

Different types of tooth pain can be caused by a variety of conditions. The best way to find out what is causing your tooth pain and have a healthy mouth is to seek the help of a dentist. 

If you are looking for a dentist in the Wasilla, Alaska, area, our Valley Dental Clinic team offers comprehensive dental care for you and your whole family. Your dental health is important to us. 
Feel free to reach out to our office by phone or schedule an appointment with us online.