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Causes of Dental Pain

Most of us have experienced dental pain in our lives, for one reason or another. But just because everybody’s experienced it, doesn’t make it any less of a drag, especially if you’re the one with the pain. You might even be experiencing dental pain right now, and if you are, you need to find out the cause of that pain. Sure, you just want the pain to go away, but if you don’t find out the cause, you can’t get rid of the pain and, in fact, it’s likely to just get worse. But the potential causes of dental pain are many, and finding the cause of your particular mouth pain probably will take the expertise of a top dentist to find the answers. Following is more information on the varying causes of dental pain, as well as steps you can take to ease the pain or eliminate it altogether.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria (also known as plaque) that form on teeth. This plaque causes enamel to wear away and eventually leads to cavities (holes in the teeth) and other forms of tooth decay. To avoid tooth decay, eat raw crunchy vegetables that help clean teeth and observe a healthy oral hygiene routine that includes twice-daily brushing, once-daily flossing, and regular visits to the dentist.


Injury or trauma caused by such occurrences as car accidents and sports injuries often cause dental pain, especially since these and other traumatic events can cause serious mouth injuries. Dental pain caused by injury may need to be treated with over-the-counter or prescribed medications, and may even need to be treated by cosmetic dentists or even oral surgeons.

Abscessed tooth

A tooth abscess is one of the most common causes of dental pain. Abscessed teeth are caused by tooth decay or even injury to teeth, and can lead to pain in surrounding structures. An abscessed tooth may need to be treated with a root canal and accompanying antibiotics and pain medications.

Gum disease

Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, is another of the more common causes of dental pain. Gum disease is often a result of poor oral hygiene, and can lead to bleeding gums and loss of a tooth or even multiple teeth.


Bruxism, also referred to as teeth grinding or clenching, is often a result of dental pain. It can even cause ear pain and headaches. If a person doesn’t already know they’re a bruxism sufferer, they often need simply to note pain felt upon awakening. If you’re someone who often awakes with headaches, ear pain, or facial pain, you may be grinding your teeth as you sleep without knowing it. Talk to your dentist about your symptoms as soon as possible for diagnosis and, if necessary, treatment.

Impacted wisdom tooth

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, and in many cases, severe pain. Wisdom teeth often develop in the teens and sometimes into the early 20s, but sometimes these teeth can become impacted or infected, especially if food particles get lodged between the wisdom teeth and the gums. Ensuing infection then can cause swelling and pain that can even spread to surrounding teeth, throat, ears, and jaw.


Sinusitis can cause dental pain because the sinuses are located above the upper molars. Sinusitis is an infection that can cause pain in the roots of the upper molars, as these may extend into the sinus cavities. Most common symptoms include congestion, nasal obstruction, and pain and pressure in eyes, nose, and other structures of the face.

If you’re someone who has experienced, or worse, is currently experiencing dental pain, chances are probably pretty good that you’re less interested in the cause of your pain than you are in the solution to it. Of course, just like most other medical conditions, finding the source of the problem is often the first means of alleviating the pain. Additionally, finding the root cause, in many cases, will help you to prevent the pain from recurring. For more information on the various causes of dental pain, schedule an appointment with a top dentist in your area. And, if you’re currently experiencing dental pain, don’t wait until your next scheduled checkup; make an appointment today.

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