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10 Most Common Reasons for Toothaches

July 30, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drflenniken @ 8:47 pm
Woman with toothache needing to see dentist

There are all sorts of different types of toothaches with many different origins. It can be difficult to figure out what the source of the problem is. Whether it’s from temperature sensitivity or you are dealing with a more serious problem, your dentist is here to help you determine the cause. Continue reading to learn more about the ten most common sources of toothaches.

Tooth Decay

This is the most common reason that people tend to experience pain in their mouth. The type and amount of pain that you feel depends on the severity of the tooth decay. Once the dentin, which is the layer underneath your tooth enamel, becomes exposed and damaged, the area becomes very sensitive. If your pain has become more of a severe and sharp, that means that the decay could have reached the center of the tooth. At this point, you should see your dentist immediately to get the issue resolved.

Temperature Sensitivity

If you experience a sharp pain during or after eating or drinking things that are cold or hot, this usually indicates tooth sensitivity. This is often a result of the enamel being worn down and the dentin of your teeth are exposed. This isn’t a dental emergency but it is worthwhile to bring it up to your dentist so he can give you recommendations. One option is to try a toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth.

Vigorous Brushing or Flossing

If you are brushing or flossing to vigorously, you could experience irritated, inflamed, or bleeding gums. Eventually your gums could recede if you continue. Be sure that you are using proper brushing technique and a soft-bristled toothbrush.


If you grind your teeth when you are sleeping or due to stress, you may experience tooth, jaw, neck, and muscle pain. This can also lead to chips and cracks. In order to combat bruxism, talk to your dentist about a custom-made nightguard.

Gum Disease

This usually consists of a dull pain in the mouth accompanied by bleeding gums. It is commonly caused by the inflammation of the oral bone and gums. This shouldn’t be left untreated because it can cause your bone, teeth, and gums to become damaged or lost.


If you have an abscessed tooth, this means tooth decay has advanced to the point of affecting the root beneath and it has become infected. It usually consists of widespread pulsating pain. This needs to be dealt with by your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further infection, bone, and tissue loss.

Tooth Fracture

If you’ve cracked or chipped teeth, whether it be from biting down on something too hard or a sports related injury, you could be feeling quite a bit of pain. This means that the fracture has made its way to the middle of the tooth where the nerve endings are. This should be attended to by your dentist as soon as possible.

Damaged Fillings

When a filling that is covering a deep pit or groove becomes damaged, it can expose vulnerable parts of the tooth leading to sensitivity and pain. If this happens to you, call your dentist to schedule an emergency appointment so you don’t suffer from additional damage or decay.

Misaligned Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth and other misalignments can result in aching pain in the mouth. This should be brought to the attention of your dentist so it can be resolved before further misalignment and other problems occur.

Orthodontic Treatment

If you’ve recently had your braces tightened or have gotten a new set of clear aligners, it’s normal to feel soreness in your mouth for several days. Over time, this should subside. If the pain is excruciating, talk to your dentist about solutions.

There are a wide variety of reasons that you could be feeling pain. It’s always a good idea to bring up any discomfort with your dentist, even if you don’t think it’s serious. Together you can get to the root of the problem.

About the Author

Dr. Neil Flenniken is a family, cosmetic, and implant dentist serving patients in and around Carlisle, PA. He earned his DDS from Howard University and has gained over two decades of experience. He is also a graduate from the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. If you’re experiencing a toothache, Dr. Flenniken and his team would be happy to help you figure out the cause and treat you. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (717) 249-7777.

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