9 Possible Reasons for Tooth Pain

If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know the sooner it can be relieved, the better. Teeth hurting you is never normal and can be a warning that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. If your teeth hurt, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment to see your dentist right away. He or she can then do a comprehensive examination and answer the question that has probably been plaguing you: “Why are my teeth hurting me?”  It could be one of any number of reasons, but Dr. Leonard Hess of Charlotte, NC would like to present to you the most commonly diagnosed reasons.

Fix tooth pain in Monroe North Carolina with Dr. Hess

Cavity Causing Tooth Pain

A cavity is a hole in your tooth enamel caused by bacteria eating away it. Bacteria live in our mouths and are usually harmless but if you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque can form on your teeth which the bacteria feed upon. The digestive acids they produce can create weak spots and eventually cavities which cause sensitivity that results in tooth pain. Cavities are easiest repair when they are still small. At this point, the tooth can usually be saved.

Damaged or Lost Filling

Contrary to what you might believe, the fillings your dentist puts in cavities are not permanent. They will usually fall out after 5-10 years. When this happens or a filling is damaged, it may cause issues with your bite, leading to pain. A visit to Dr. Hess or your local dentist can determine what needs to be done to relieve the pain and repair or replace the filling.

Teeth Grinding/Clenching/TMJ

You may find yourself waking up with a sore jaw or notice yourself bearing down on your teeth during the day, both are likely indicators that you are clenching or grinding your teeth at night. Dr. Hess or your area dentist can offer solutions that can protect your teeth from excessive wear and tear, as well as protecting you from painful headaches, toothaches and jaw pain.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscess forms when there is a serious infection at the tooth’s roots. It is extremely painful and only a dentist visit can help as antibiotics must be prescribed and the tooth treated, usually with a root canal. Failure to resolve it can lead to a widespread infection, threatening your overall health.

Wisdom Teeth Coming In

When your wisdom teeth begin to emerge, they can cause a great deal of pain, swelling, and jaw stiffness. Dr. Hess or your area dentist can determine if these teeth are coming in properly or if they need to be removed.


Injury caused by contact sports or an accident may cause any number of problems including a “bruised” or deep discoloring of the tooth, a crack or break of the tooth’s enamel, or total loss of one or more teeth.

Temperature Sensitivity

When the underlying layer of the tooth, called the dentin, is exposed due to cavities or cracks in your tooth enamel or the recession of your gum tissue — usually from gum disease — your teeth may become sensitive to either hot or cold temperatures, or both.

Orthodontic Treatment

When you have your braces adjusted by your orthodontist, you are likely to experience some level of tooth pain. This is to be expected and should not need a dental visit unless it persists. Using an over-the-counter pain medicine should relieve the pain or, if the issue is caused by the hardware itself, a little ball of dental wax should do the trick.

Teeth Whitening

Many patients feel some discomfort after a professional teeth-whitening treatment, but it usually resolves itself within a day or so. Talk to Dr. Hess or your area dentist if it is too painful or persists for longer than normal.

Relieve Tooth Pain in Charlotte, NC

No matter what the reason, Dr. Hess knows having dental pain can be miserable, so stop asking, “Why do my teeth hurt?” and schedule a consultation online with Dr. Leonard Hess of Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry today, or call our scheduling specialist on 704.240.5045. Most dentists will make special appointments to handle dental emergencies, especially when you are experiencing pain. Dr. Hess and his team will identify the problem and help you find relief as soon as possible.