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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 

added on: February 26, 2021
Modern Dentistry Associates in St. Joseph, MI

Waking up with tooth pain is a feeling like no other. The throbbing zings of pain can make it nearly impossible to think about anything else other than getting relief. Tooth pain can be an indicator of a serious problem and you should see your dentist in St. Joseph for any toothache that doesn’t go away. But in the meantime, here’s some helpful information about different types of tooth pain and what each could mean. 

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is often explained as a quick burst of pain when something hot or cold touches your teeth, such as a zing of pain with your sip of hot, delicious coffee, or a bolt of discomfort with a spoonful of your favorite ice cream. The feeling may be short-lived or it could linger around for minutes or longer. 

What It Means

Tooth sensitivity could be a sign of: 

  • Receding gums
  • Worn enamel
  • Tooth decay
  • Cracked tooth

Dull Ache

This type of tooth pain can either affect one tooth, several teeth, or can even be felt in your jaw. While this pain may not be constant and may seem to come and go, it’s still important to get it checked by your dentist in St. Joseph to find out what’s causing the pain and the best way to relieve it once and for all. 

What It Means

A dull ache could be a sign of: 

  • Decay
  • Something stuck in the gums or teeth
  • Clenching or grinding
  • Abscess

Sharp Pain

A more intense type of tooth pain described as sharp or even stabbing. The pain may not always be apparent but gets worse or is initially felt upon biting down or applying pressure. Like most toothaches, those accompanied by sharp pain require a dental visit before the problem has a chance to get worse. 

What It Means

Sharp pain could be a sign of: 

  • Chipped tooth
  • Fractured tooth
  • Damage to an existing dental restoration
  • Cavities

Throbbing 

This type of tooth pain is typically constant and can affect your everyday life. Some patients describe this pain as a constant thumping of pain. The pain can be localized to one tooth or area, or can spread to other parts of your mouth including your jaw or face. Since this pain can be so debilitating we recommend seeing your dentist in St. Joseph as soon as possible. 

What It Means

Throbbing pain could be a sign of: 

  • Gum disease
  • Broken tooth
  • Infection
  • Something stuck in the gums

The information above isn’t meant to diagnose any toothaches but can be used to help determine what you should do. Most of the time, tooth pain that doesn’t go away for two or more days requires an appointment with your dentist.