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Tooth pain is a very common and often very irritating symptom experienced by most of us at one point or another, but you may find yourself asking, why do my teeth hurt?  It can be difficult to locate or describe tooth pain so here is a quick guide to help you get a better idea of what’s going on in your mouth. Tooth pain can be caused by several dental problems and can range from sharp to dull ache depending on the cause of the pain. We would recommend you seek the help of a dentist if you are experiencing any tooth or oral pain.

Here are the most common culprits:


Tooth Sensitivity

If your teeth’s enamel has been subject to erosion, you may experience teeth sensitivity and sometimes pain. This is due to the nerve endings in your teeth becoming exposed and can cause pain with hot or cold food and drink. A fast and effective way to relieve sensitivity is with desensitizing toothpaste, which can sometimes help to soothe the pain. Other causes of sensitive teeth include bruxism (grinding teeth), which can also lead to toothache and headaches. If you have any of these symptoms, you should visit your dentist or consider wearing a nightguard.



Cavities are one of the most common causes of toothache. These are holes in the teeth caused by bacteria which produce acid that damage the tooth’s enamel. This allows the bacteria to penetrate the tooth and cause infection. You can prevent cavities by avoiding sugary food and drinks and maintaining good oral hygiene. Regular visits to the dentist will also help to track existing damage so that if you do develop any cavaties they are treated early. Cavities can be treated with fillings, root canals or even extraction depending on the severity. If you are experiencing a sharp located pain in the inside of your tooth, we recommend you visit your dentist.



An abscess is a collection of puss accumulated inside the teeth or gums and it can be a consequence of a cavity left untreated. Depending on the depth where the abscess formed, the pain can vary. If your tooth is not severely damaged, abscesses can be treated with an incision and draining or with a root canal. When the tooth is too damaged to be saved, it may need to be extracted. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic to help your body clear the infection in addition to your treatment.



This occurs when your tooth’s pulp (the tissue at the centre of your tooth) becomes inflamed. Pulpitis originates from untreated cavities, trauma or multiple restorations and can be painful. If you are treated early on for pulpitis, the condition can be treated with removal of the cavity and a filling, however if left untreated will result in root canal or dental extraction. Common symptoms include sharp acute pain, pain when chewing or that wakes you and pain from hot or cold which lingers.


Gum Disease

This is another common cause of tooth pain and often occurs when you are chewing, you may also find your gums are red, swollen or irritated if gum disease is the culprit. Gingervitis is an early stage of gum disease which is normally treated with maintaining good oral health and your dentist may recommend a product like Corsodyl gel. Gum disease at later stages is called periodontal disease and may require periodontal treatment which you will need to discuss with your dentist.


If you are looking for the best pain relief for tooth pain, this will likely depend on what is causing you tooth pain. For most patients, Ibruprofen or paracetamol can be used to help manage the pain until you are able to resolve the issue.

Most tooth pain is preventable if you maintain good oral hygiene and visit your dentist every 6 months. This will help catch dental problems early and avoid any unnecessary pain. However we do recommend if you are experiencing any tooth pain to visit your dentist at your earliest convenience.

If you are in pain and click here to book to see a dentist for an emergency consultation today.