Now accepting Michigan Medicaid patient appointments. Schedule a visit.

5 Common Causes of Tooth Pain

Tooth pain is the most common cause of mouth pain, affecting millions of Americans — adults and kids — every year. One of the reasons why tooth pain is so common is because there are so many factors that can cause or contribute to tooth pain.

At Novi Family Dentistry in Novi, Michigan, Abir Faraj, DDS, and her team use advanced techniques to diagnose and treat the causes of tooth pain, helping patients of all ages feel better and stay healthy. In this blog, Dr. Faraj explains five of the most common causes of tooth pain.

1. Cavities

Cavities are one of the most common causes of tooth pain. A cavity forms when acids produced by bacteria weaken the hard enamel shell of a tooth. Eventually, acid erosion exposes the inside part of the tooth, beginning with the inner layer of material called dentin, then eventually extending all the way to the softer portion in the center of the tooth called the pulp.

Weak and exposed areas allow the bacteria to enter the tooth. As the bacteria multiply, they continue to eat away at the tooth's structure, which can cause infection, inflammation, and pain. Without treatment, a cavity can eventually result in tooth loss, and the infection may spread to other areas of your mouth as well.

2. Infections 

Infections are another common cause of tooth pain. Some infections are caused by deep, untreated cavities. Other infections can occur when bacteria infect the gum tissue, a condition called gum disease or periodontitis, which is the top cause of tooth loss among adults. Left untreated, infections can spread to the jawbone or form a swollen, painful, pus-filled abscess.

3. Damaged restorations

Fillings, crowns, and other restorations play important roles in treating tooth damage and preventing damage from getting worse. But although restorations are strong and durable, they may not last forever. Fillings can loosen, and crowns can crack or come loose, which can expose the sensitive nerves inside the tooth and dramatically increase the risk of decay and tooth loss.

4. Fractures or cracks

Fractured or cracked teeth can occur from an injury to your mouth or face, or they may be caused by biting or chewing something very hard. Some fractures happen when an old filling or other restoration gets damaged and is left unrepaired. No matter what causes a fracture or crack, the opening that’s made leaves the interior portion of the tooth exposed to bacteria, significantly raising your risks for infection and tooth loss.

5. Teeth sensitivity

About 40 million Americans suffer from tooth sensitivity at some point, experiencing dull aching or pain when their teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures. Tooth sensitivity happens when the tooth enamel wears down, when tiny cracks form in the tooth surface, or when the gums recede, exposing tiny the “tubes” that lead to the interior portion of the tooth. These tubes transmit hot or cold temperatures to the tooth’s sensitive nerves, triggering pain and discomfort.

Find relief for your tooth pain

These are five of the most common causes of tooth pain, but they’re not the only reasons why your teeth can hurt. The only way to know for sure what’s causing your pain is to see Dr. Faraj as soon as possible. She’ll perform an exam and take X-rays to determine what’s causing your pain and design a plan to relieve your pain and improve your oral health.

If you have tooth pain, don’t ignore it. Early treatment is the best way to protect your tooth and feel better fast. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Novi Family Dentistry today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Get Relief from Periodontitis Pain

How to Get Relief from Periodontitis Pain

Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease when infection reaches far below your gums. The good news: It can be treated to prevent tooth loss. Here’s how our team can help relieve your painful symptoms and improve your oral health too.
5 Foods to Embrace for Healthier Teeth

5 Foods to Embrace for Healthier Teeth

Most of us know we should avoid sugary snacks and drinks to prevent cavities and gum disease. But are there foods that can improve our oral health too? Yes! Here are five beneficial foods to incorporate into your diet.
4 Smart Reasons to Get a Dental Bridge

4 Smart Reasons to Get a Dental Bridge

Adult tooth loss isn’t uncommon, but that doesn’t make it any less upsetting. Dental bridges help restore your smile and oral function by replacing one or more missing teeth. Here are four reasons you should consider a dental bridge.
All About Metal-Free Tooth Restorations

All About Metal-Free Tooth Restorations

Metal-free tooth restorations have revolutionized dentistry, restoring damaged teeth and beautiful smiles too. If you need a cavity filled, a crown, or some other restoration, here’s why you might want to consider a metal-free option.

Help! My Teeth Are Dull and Dingy

Teeth look dull and discolored for different reasons, but fortunately, there are solutions that can help. Here, learn about the state-of-the-art treatments that can help your smile look its absolute best.
Here's How to Clean Your Dentures

Here's How to Clean Your Dentures

Dentures are a trusted, time-tested way to replace missing teeth and restore not only your smile but your confidence. To feel even more confident, try these simple steps to keep your smile bright and your breath fresh.