Oral pain can be incredibly bothersome. Even a small ache can make it hard to focus on anything else. However, there are many causes of tooth pain, and some of them have nothing to do with your everyday oral care. If you would like to learn more, keep reading.


Cavities are incredibly common, and they occur when plaque and acids break down the tooth's enamel. This leads to tooth decay. If this portion of the tooth is not removed promptly, the decay won't go away. Instead, the dentist will have to remove the dead tooth tissue and replace it with a filling. If the cavity is particularly large, a crown may be recommended.

You can often tell if you have a cavity by looking in your mouth. You may see a black or brown pit in the tooth. Most people with cavities also experience sharp pain when the cavity is exposed to something hot, cold, or sugary. Luckily, cavities can typically be prevented with good oral care (including flossing and visiting the dentist regularly).


A tooth infection occurs when the tooth's root starts to die. This dead tissue can become inflamed thanks to bacteria. In some cases, there may be an abscess filled with pus. For many people, an infection occurs due to severe tooth decay. However, sudden trauma to the tooth can also lead to an infection if it causes a crack, especially a crack in the tooth's root.

A tooth infection often comes with severe, persistent pain that may or may not react to over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. The area is usually tender, especially when you eat, and you may notice swelling. If there is an abscess, there may be an odor or pus. When the pus is expressed, the pain may be reduced. Unlike a cavity, cold water often reduces the pain associated with a tooth infection.

Treatment involves root canal therapy. During this treatment, the tooth's roots and pulp are removed. If this doesn't work and/or the patient can't afford the procedure, the tooth may need to be extracted. You can usually prevent an infection with good oral care and by wearing a proper mouthguard.

Impacted Tooth

An impacted tooth is a tooth that grows at an angle. Unfortunately, in many cases, there is nothing you can do to prevent impacted teeth because it may be due to genetics or lack of space. This is particularly a problem with wisdom teeth. Given their location and the size of the average mouth, many wisdom teeth grow in your mouth sideways.

Regardless of the tooth or cause, however, an impacted tooth can push into nearby teeth, causing severe pain. If left untreated, it could even lead to decay and/or infection. Typically, you'll notice swollen gums, tender gums, general swelling, and pain. Sometimes, the impacted tooth can also cause cysts and gum disease. Treatment typically involves removing the tooth.

Teeth can hurt for a myriad of reasons, but that doesn't mean you have to suffer. While many conditions can be prevented, some are unavoidable. If you would like to learn more, or if you are ready to visit the dentist, contact a dental office in your area today.