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Types of Tooth Pain and What they Mean

By Edited Sep 19, 2015 0 0

Tooth pain can be excruciating, here you can help decipher what those treatments mean.

Consider yourself lucky if you have not experienced significant tooth pain, but if you have you probably know those pains can be very different. Each of these different types of pain can mean a very different diagnosis and outcome. Because of how the body works, all pains are associated with nerves, but how the nerve is involved can make some types of pain more intense. One common cause of jaw pain, which is sometimes associated with tooth pain is Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, commonly called TMJ. The pains referred to in this article are different from those associated with TMJ.

Shocking Pain

Shocking pain that seems to radiate out from the tooth is often related to exposure of nerves. These nerves are the cause of all tooth pain, but the tooth pain that makes you wince and pull away, or cover that side of your mouth with your hand to try to mitigate the pain is often because the nerves are no longer properly protected from the outside world. The nerve loses protection when the tooth is compromised by fractures, deep cavities or the misalignment of older fillings. Cavities are caused by decay, fractures can come from grinding your teeth or from larger fillings that weaken the structure of the tooth. If you have fillings that are over 15 or 20 years old they can contribute to issues as well because the fillings do not necessarily last a lifetime and wear down over the years.

Dull Aches

When the tooth pain you are experiencing is more dull and achy than sharp and stabbing it is typically caused by more mundane problems like a bad bite or grinding of the teeth. Many people grind their teeth in their sleep, causing this type of pain in the mornings when they wake. Tooth grinding can also contribute to cracks in the tooth that would then cause a different type of pain like the shocking pain described above. If you think you grind your teeth you can get a special mouth guard from your dentist that will keep you from wearing away at the enamel while you are resting. If you experience dull aches due to a problem with your bite, you can see your dentist to have a variety of treatments to adjust it and make the problem better.

Stabbing Pain With Pressure

Pain that only occurs when you bite down on the tooth surface is often another sign of weakness of the tooth. These weaknesses are caused by wear to the tooth including the cracks and older fillings just like other tooth pain types. The biting related pain can lead to multiple diagnoses, but sometimes they lead to crowns and root canals because they can be symptoms of the death of the nerve associated with the tooth. Your dentist can do multiple tests including testing your tooth reaction to cold and pressure tests using various materials. These tests help your dentist understand what is going on and how to address the pain. 



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