Tooth pain is your body’s signal that something is not right.

Is your body trying to tell you something? Around the clock, your systems send internal messages that let you know when it’s time to wake up, eat a meal, or take a break. Could those symptoms of tooth pain also be signaling that it’s time to visit the dentist?

Even though it isn’t pleasant, tooth pain is your body’s way of letting you know that your oral health needs attention. There are a number of reasons why you might be feeling achy, and your dentist will be able to pinpoint exactly what’s going on.

In the meantime, we’re sharing 5 fascinating facts about tooth pain that can help you understand and appreciate your incredible, intelligent body!

1. There are different types of tooth pain.

A toothache is a toothache, right? Not quite! Actually, there are quite a few different types of tooth pain that you might experience. These include:

  • Dull, persistent aches.
  • Sharp, jabbing pain.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • Severe, throbbing pain.

It’s important to schedule a dentist visit at the first sign of any type of pain. The culprit could be something as simple as a piece of food stuck in your tooth or it could be a symptom of a crack or cavity in your tooh. It’s always best to get it checked out as soon as possible.

2. Tooth pain sends different messages.

Now that we’ve covered the different types of toothaches, let’s answer another important question: What do they each mean? Most importantly, how should you respond to each one?

While your dentist will be able to tell for sure, there are a few different messages that your pain could be telling you. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.

Dull Aching

Dull, persistent aches are the most common type of tooth pain. Often, you’ll experience this sensation when there’s an object, such as food, wedged in your teeth or stuck in your gums. In some cases, dull aches can also be a sign of an abscessed tooth or teeth grinding (bruxism). If you think there’s something stuck in your teeth, try flossing and rinsing out your mouth. If this doesn’t help, then go ahead and schedule a dentist visit.

Sharp Pain

Sharp pain definitely gets your attention! Often, this type of pain means there’s something wrong with the surface of your tooth. For instance, you might have a loose filling or crown. If those aren’t a possibility, it’s still smart to see your dentist. Sharp pain could be related to a fracture on your tooth or a sign of severe wear and tear on your enamel.

Hot and Cold Sensitivity

You don’t have to chew on one side of your mouth for the rest of your life. If you’re experiencing sensitivity to hot or cold, your dentist can determine the appropriate treatment.

Mild tooth sensitivity could be linked to worn enamel, which may subside if you use a toothpaste specially suited for sensitive teeth. If it persists, it could be a sign of tooth decay or a fracture. Gum disease and exposed tooth roots could also cause temperature sensitivity.

Throbbing Pain

Throbbing tooth pain that’s severe in nature requires an immediate call to your dentist. This is especially the case if the tooth pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as discolored or bleeding gums. A throbbing tooth often points to some type of damage. It could result from a range of issues, including:

  • Abscessed tooth.
  • Fractured tooth.
  • Infected gums.
  • Damaged filling.
  • Loose crown.

Any of these require immediate dental attention, so don’t delay and and hope it goes away on its own—it won’t.

3. It’s linked to inflammation.

Usually, tooth pain is caused by inflammation that occurs in the soft center of your tooth. For instance, an early cavity that goes untreated could develop into tooth decay, which can cause your tooth to become inflamed. Other, less common causes of inflammation include:

  • Gum disease or periodontitis.
  • Chipped or broken teeth.
  • Damaged fillings.
  • Clenching your jaw.
  • Grinding your teeth.
  • Infection at the tooth root.

These are a few different issues that could be causing the toothache that’s nagging you. A trip to the dentist can clear up the confusion and help you know for sure what’s behind it.

4. Different triggers can cause tooth pain.

All tooth pain has an origin. If you’re experiencing the onset of a toothache, there are certain foods and habits that could be behind it. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Clenching your teeth.
  • Consuming very hot or cold foods or beverages.
  • Putting too much pressure on a tooth.
  • Biting into something hard.
  • Eating too many sweet foods.

Your dentist can help you determine which activity is at the root of your tooth pain. Sometimes, the answer to your problems can be as simple as cutting back on your sugar intake! Other times, however, you’ll need a more advanced form of treatment. For instance, if the enamel of your tooth is damaged or decayed, your dentist may recommend a restorative treatment, such as a dental onlay or crown.

5. You can catch it early.

You don’t have to wait until a painful tooth is impacting your life before you take action. By visiting your dentist regularly, you can ensure that any problem spots will be identified and addressed before they snowball into bigger issues.

Of course, there may be some types of pain that aren’t foreseeable because they happen in an instant. For example, you could have healthy teeth but suffer an injury to your mouth that causes immediate discomfort. In that case, an emergency trip to the dentist can help you restore the function, form, and comfort of your tooth.

Professional Treatment for Any Type of Tooth Pain

If you’re currently in the throes of tooth pain, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Our dental team is here to help restore your comfort, along with your quality of life. From dull aches to sharp jabs, there are many different issues you may be experiencing. Or, you might feel fine and want to stay that way!

In any case, we’d love to see you for a visit at Metro East Dental Care. Schedule an appointment today and stay pain-free!