HELP! I Have a Toothache!

Why do teeth hurt?  

Teeth are alive. They have nerves, blood vessels, and ligaments like other areas of the body. They can become infected, suffer a sprain, fracture or break, and, they can become sensitive to changes in temperature. While some problems need the attention of your dentist, other problems might go away on their own.

Hurts only when I chew

Teeth are suspended in your jaw bone by ligaments. Those ligaments can be accidentally over-stretched and sprained, just like an ankle. When that happens, giving it rest by not chewing on it often makes the pain go away in about a week. But, if it doesn’t go away, it might need to be examined by your dentist, who can determine if there is a fracture or maybe a bite alignment problem.

Tooth hurts all the time

When this happens, you definitely need the professional opinion of your dentist. But don’t automatically think the worst. Sometimes, a sprain can continue until a slight adjustment is made. However, continued pain could be the sign of infection or deep fracture in the tooth that sometimes is not salvageable.

Another source is bacteria caused deep decay or tooth infection. The normal remedy for this can be removing the decay, and the area of infection. If the infection is too deep, it might require cleaning the interior of the tooth, a procedure called root canal therapy.

Painful infection can also be found in the gums surrounding a tooth. This happens when food particles attracting bacteria remain trapped, deep in the gums. The inflammation that follows will cause redness to your gums, and sometimes bleeding in the area. With time, the infection will destroy the bone and could cause tooth loss.

Tooth hurts certain times of day

These problems can be mysteries, because tooth pain is not always a tooth problem. Referred pain occurs when a problem in one part of the body is felt in another part. In the mouth, jaw problems might be felt in your teeth. Also, sinus problems will sometimes feel like a toothache. Your dentist will do an exam, maybe take some x-rays, and be able to tell you what is happening and how to fix it.

My tooth is sensitive to cold, but not really a toothache

Thousands of people have this problem. It happens when the enamel protecting the nerves of the tooth is rubbed too thin, or is partially missing. The uncovered inner tooth exposes raw nerve endings to extreme temperature changes that can make a tooth momentarily sensitive and uncomfortable. Your dentist will check these areas and suggest a solution, which might involve covering the areas or, applying a protective gel. But, it also might include changing to less abrasive toothpaste.

Can I have a bad tooth without pain?

Yes, and this happens often. A tooth can have deep decay, or even a bad infection with no symptoms. These can only be discovered by your dentist during an exam.


Sometimes a painful tooth will get better on its own. Too often, however, an achy tooth will only get worse if not addressed. The best thing to do whenever you have a tooth bothering you is, visit your dentist. They can help eliminate the problem, and make you feel better in the process.

If needed, please use our website to find a dentist near you today!


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