Sudden Tooth Pain? Here’s What Might Be Causing It

Sudden Tooth Pain? Here’s What Might Be Causing It

Posted by Smile City Dental Group on May 9 2023, 05:37 AM

Sudden Tooth Pain? Here’s What Might Be Causing It

Cavities, chipped teeth, and jaw clenching are not the lone causes of sudden tooth pain. There are several other causes of pain in the teeth. Tooth erosion is one of them. Have a look at them. 

Temperature sensitivity

Temperature sensitivity is a relatively common problem and occurs when you consume hot or cold beverages or foods. This can happen for a number of reasons, including tooth decay, receding gums, cavities, or gum infections.

If you regularly experience sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, talk to your dentist about what you can do to protect your mouth from the damaging effects of extreme temperatures. 

Gum recession

When your gums pull away from your teeth, it exposes the roots of the teeth. This not only makes teeth look extremely long, but it can cause a lot of pain. The exposed roots are very sensitive to temperature changes like hot or cold beverages and food.

If you’ve noticed that you experience sudden, sharp pains when you’re eating cold foods/drinks, it may be a sign of gum recession. In this case, it’s important to see your dentist right away. He or she will be able to recommend the most appropriate treatment for you.

Treatment will depend on how far the gums have receded and whether other periodontal issues are present. Sometimes a simple procedure like recontouring or grafting is enough to fix the problem. Other times, the tooth needs to be restored with either a filling or a dental crown.

Either way, the sooner you get treatment, the better!


Eroded teeth can expose the nerves inside a tooth, which can create sudden pain when stimulated by heat, cold, sweet foods, or even breathing in cold air. Using desensitizing toothpaste and avoiding staining foods and beverages can help prevent further erosion, but it’s important to treat any underlying decay. Once it’s treated and the gum line has healed, your dentist may recommend covering the exposed roots with a dental crown to prevent further damage.


When a cavity is left untreated and spreads to the dentin layer below, it may cause sudden tooth pain. Other symptoms of a cavity may include increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks, visible pits and grooves in the teeth, or a toothache that lasts for days at a time. These symptoms make tooth decay one of the most common reasons for sudden tooth pain. Even if the tooth doesn’t hurt, decay may still be present. Be sure to visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and exams to prevent cavities from developing in the first place! 

Gum infection

Inflammation of the gums can cause sudden and severe tooth pain. This often occurs as the result of aggressive brushing and flossing paired with a lack of good oral hygiene habits. If your gums are irritated, your gums may be swollen and tender to the touch. You may also notice bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth. Your gum pain and swelling may get worse in the hours after you brush your teeth. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to call us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.

Cracked tooth or crown

If your tooth is cracked, it could cause you pain when you first chew on it. The crack could be on the chewing surface or the biting surface of the tooth. When a crack extends below the gum line, bacteria can enter the pulp and cause an infection of the nerve, and root canal treatment may be necessary. Sometimes the tooth can fracture enough that there is not enough structure left to hold a filling, so the restoration will have to be a crown. If the tooth cracks at the gum line, this can cause pain and bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. A cracked tooth could also be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. Although crowns can be used to treat this condition, it is best treated early with composite fillings to avoid the need for more invasive procedures in the future. If you are experiencing sudden tooth pain, it is important to make an appointment with our dentist to determine the cause of your pain and treat the problem as soon as possible.

Sinus infection

When there is a sinus infection, the sinus cavity becomes inflamed and blocked. This then causes pain in the facial areas near the sinuses. Some of the symptoms include pressure in the face near infected gums and teeth, pain when chewing, a headache, fevers, nasal discharge, etc. This type of pain is severe, sudden, and debilitating. However, if it persists, it needs to be addressed immediately.

While root canals may be seen as a scary dental treatment, they are actually painless! Your dentist will numb the area before the procedure so you will feel no pain at all. Root canals are recommended when the pulp of the tooth is infected or damaged. This can happen because of deep decay, trauma to the tooth, multiple fillings on the tooth, cracks or chips in the tooth, or a leaky filling.

Jaw clenching

Bruxism is the technical term for the unconscious grinding of teeth, often during sleep. If you experience jaw pain when you wake up, you may be suffering from bruxism. Nightguards can help protect your teeth from the effects of excessive pressure. Your dentist can provide you with one to wear at night or during stressful times. If a mouth guard is not effective enough, there are further treatments available such as Botox injections and surgery.

If you’re experiencing any level of pain and discomfort in your teeth, don’t hesitate to visit your dentist! You shouldn’t have to live in pain. Schedule an appointment with us so we can get you back to feeling comfortable again. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!

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