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What Does This Pain Mean?

Having pain in your mouth or teeth can be scary. At the very least, it is uncomfortable. Pain can disrupt your life and daily routine. While many of us want relief from pain, your pain can give you clues for solutions. This means that how you describe your pain can help your dentist understand the root cause of your discomfort. 

What Does This Pain Mean?

Types of Tooth and Mouth Pain

When you talk to your dentist about your pain, it is crucial that you try to identify “how” you are hurting. These specifics can alert your doctor to potential causes for your pain. 

Sharp, Sudden Pain

Sharp, sudden pain is often associated with tooth sensitivity. This can occur when you consume hot or cold foods or beverages or when you breathe in cold air. It may be a sign of a few root causes. For example, tooth decay is a common reason for sharp pain. Cavities can expose the sensitive nerves in your teeth, increasing pain. 

Other situations that can create sharp discomfort are gum recession or a cracked tooth. A crack in your tooth can create unexpected pain. This is because it allows temperature and pressure to reach the delicate nerves. Furthermore, gum recession can also expose the tooth roots. 

Dull, Aching Pain

A dull, persistent ache is a common type of toothache. This continuous discomfort could be related to other dental problems.  An infection in the pulp of your tooth may cause a constant, throbbing ache. Furthermore, gum disease in its later stages can cause dull pain. As gum disease progresses, it can lead to dull, persistent discomfort.

Finally, grinding or clenching your teeth can create a dull ache in your teeth and mouth. Excessive teeth grinding can result in aching teeth and jaw muscles. Also, this issue can cause chronic headaches and muscle pain. 

Throbbing Pain

Throbbing pain is often associated with dental abscesses or severe infections. Pressure can build inside the tooth or gums, creating a throbbing sensation. A few possible causes of this issue include a dental abscess or a gum infection. An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms due to a bacterial infection. It can lead to intense pain. Also, gum infections can cause throbbing pain as well as gum swelling and redness.

Sharp, Shooting Pain

Sharp, shooting pain can occur suddenly and typically doesn’t last long. It may be a sign of nerve pain or even sinus issues. Sometimes, the nerves in your teeth can become temporarily irritated, causing shooting pain. It is still an issue that you should bring up with your dentist. On the other hand, sinus infections or congestion can sometimes create referred pain in the upper teeth.

Pain When Chewing

If you experience pain when chewing, it may indicate an issue with a specific tooth or jaw joint. For example, large cavities can lead to pain when pressure is applied to the tooth. Additionally, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues can result in pain while chewing. For more information on how we diagnose and treat TMJ disorders, please visit TMJ Treatment.

Finally, fillings, crowns, or bridges that are loose or damaged can lead to pain when biting.

Lingering Pain After Hot or Cold

If you experience lingering pain after consuming hot or cold items, it could be a sign of sensitivity. Sensitive teeth can react to temperature changes, resulting in discomfort. Also, enamel erosion can make your teeth more sensitive to temperature variations.