Dental pain is some of the most intense you’ll ever experience. And when it appears suddenly, it can be very alarming. What might be causing your agony? Here are a few likely suspects.
Heat or Cold
Perhaps the most common reason for sudden tooth pain is worn tooth enamel and exposure to heat or cold. Did the pain appear shortly after eating or drinking something hot or cold? Was it a sharp flash of pain? Temperature sensitivity is a sign that you should make an appointment with your dentist to check for erosion.
Have you noticed that your teeth have become more sensitive? If that’s the case, you may have receding gums. Gum tissue surrounds and protects the roots of your teeth, and when it recedes, it exposes parts of the roots to the air, as well as to foods and liquids. Eventually, that can lead to infections and gum disease.
It’s easy to spot cracked teeth most of the time, but sometimes hairline cracks form that are all but invisible. They can still lead to considerable dental pain, though. The good news is that your dentist has solutions for cracked teeth, including veneers and crowns.
Almost half of all American adults suffer from some degree of gum disease. As gum disease escalates, it can make your teeth and gums more sensitive, particularly to hot or cold temperatures. That can include not just foods and beverages, but also outside air if you’re breathing through your mouth, such as while jogging or during other forms of exercise.
Activated charcoal is everywhere today, including in many different toothpaste formulations. While charcoal can certainly help address mild staining, it also causes tooth sensitivity when used too frequently. If you’re fixed on using charcoal toothpaste, don’t overuse it.
Bleaching products are very popular today and can help you whiten your teeth by several shades right in your own home. However, they are not particularly gentle and can cause sudden sensitivity. If you stop using the whitening product, the sensitivity should go away.
Grinding Your Teeth or Clenching Your Jaws
Do you ever have to force yourself to relax your jaw and stop clenching your teeth? Does your dentist suspect that you grind your teeth at night? Both actions wear away at your enamel and can cause sensitivity. Wearing a mouthguard at night can help prevent grinding and clenching. You’ll find over-the-counter mouthguards, but your dentist may also be able to custom-make one to fit your mouth.
One of the most common causes of sudden tooth pain is the loss of a filling. While fillings can last indefinitely, they can fall out, leaving the hole in your tooth open and exposing the interior of your tooth to temperature extremes that may cause sudden pain.
Experiencing unexplained sudden tooth pain? Your dentist can help. Make an appointment to have your teeth inspected as soon as possible to prevent additional damage.