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What Causes Tooth Pain and What Can Be Done to Treat Your Pain

July 28, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — nawrockidmdteam @ 7:45 pm

In our blog entry today we are going to talk about what can cause your tooth to be painful and what you can do to help with that pain. According to the American Association of Endodontics, there are multiple causes of tooth pain and multiple treatment options available for the pain. The most important thing that you can do if you experience any sort of tooth pain is to contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an examination and any potential follow-up treatment. Dental pain can be debilitating and extremely painful so it is imperative that you seek dental treatment as soon as possible if you believe that you are experiencing a dental emergency.

At Matthew Nawrocki General Dentistry and Prosthodontics, we are committed to educating our patients and one of the ways that we provide patient education is through our blog. If you have any lingering questions about dental pain and dental emergencies, please contact us at any time electronically or call (904)602-8396.

What Causes Tooth Pain and How Can I Tell What is causing my Tooth Pain?

The most important thing that you can do if you are experiencing tooth pain is to contact your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist has the tools and technology necessary to determine the cause of your pain and to provide the necessary treatment to alleviate that pain. We have listed some of the most common causes of tooth pain below.


A small cavity may cause a brief sensitivity or discomfort associated with hot or cold on an affected tooth. A larger cavity may cause the tooth to experience a sharper pain when biting down on food. If a cavity gets large enough, it may develop into an abscess where the infection in the tooth has spread to the surrounding bone and tissues. Please watch this video below for more information about cavities.

Missing Restoration

Sometimes, restorations or fillings may become dislodged from the teeth or fall out without you even noticing it. Just like a cavity, this may cause your tooth to become sensitive to hot or cold and biting. If a filling falls out, you may or may not notice a small notch or groove on your tooth and food may or may not become trapped in the tooth.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can cause some or all of your teeth to be red, bleeding, and/or painful. Sometimes your gums can recede and lead to exposed surfaces of your teeth that are especially sensitive. Additionally, plaque and tartar can build-up and also cause tooth pain. You can read more about gum disease and periodontitis in one of our older blog posts here.

Foreign Objects

While eating, it is possible for food to become stuck below the gums in between your tooth and your gums. Sometimes a small popcorn kernel can get stuck and be difficult to retrieve. This can be extremely painful and can lead to an infection.

Broken Tooth

Injury or even biting down too hard on something can cause a tooth to break, especially if the tooth already has a large filling in it. If the fracture in the tooth goes down to the nerve in the middle of the tooth, this can be extremely painful.


Some people grind their teeth and may not even realize it. Bruxism, or chronic grinding of the teeth, can lead to a dull ache and pressure in the upper teeth and jaw. This may also lead to the development of headaches.

TMJ Disorders

Temporomandibular joint disorders can sometimes cause tooth pain and/or headache-related pain. The TMJ is the joint that connects the bottom jaw to your head. To learn more about TMJ disorders and jaw pain, please visit an older blog post here.

What can be Done to Treat my Tooth Pain?

There are many options for treating tooth pain and the treatment options depend on the diagnosis of the tooth involved. Therefore, it is extremely important to consult with your dentist as soon as possible if you are experiencing tooth pain. Your dentist can help you determine the cause of the problem and treat it in the most effective way.

If your tooth has a small cavity or is missing a small filling, your dentist may be able to treat this tooth with a small filling. If your tooth has a larger amount of decay or has a large filling that is missing, it may or may not need a root canal. Depending on the amount of remaining tooth structure after the decay is removed, the tooth may need a crown or cap placed on top of it. The tooth may also need a crown if it is broken. Sometimes, there is so much decay on a tooth that we are no longer able to save that tooth and must extract it. When that happens, we can replace the missing tooth with an implant. Please read more about our implant services here.

If you live in or around the Orange Park area and are experiencing any pain related to your teeth, mouth, or jaws, please contact us at any time electronically or call (904)602-8396 to schedule a consultation. At Matthew Nawrocki General and Cosmetic Dentistry, we are committed to determining the cause of your pain and treating all of your dental needs!

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