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Top 3 Sources of Tooth Pain

April 23, 2018
Top 3 Sources of Tooth Pain

Tooth pain comes in many forms. It may be a mildly annoying ache. It could be a deep throb. It might be somewhat distracting, or it could be excruciating. How the pain feels can help us diagnose the specific issue that is causing it. Almost all tooth pain, though, comes from one of three main sources.


Dental trauma is an extremely common cause of tooth pain. If you have been hit in the mouth by a person or a baseball, recently took a hard fall, or were in an automobile accident, it is possible that you have an oral injury. Check for any broken or loose teeth or trauma to the soft tissues of the mouth. Use ice to bring down swelling, take an over the counter pain reliever, and call our office to make an appointment for evaluation.  In collaboration with your dentist and other specialists, we can help save traumatized teeth and quickly get patients back to a pain free natural appearance.


Infection is another common source of tooth pain. If you have an untreated cavity, bacteria can begin to invade the soft inner structures of the tooth, worsening decay and causing increased pain. Over time, infection can develop anywhere in the tooth structure. Gum disease is another possible cause, as bacteria can tunnel into pockets that develop between the gum tissue and the tooth.

Tooth infections should be taken seriously, as an untreated infection could cause problems throughout the body. Check for swelling or unusual warmth in the gum tissue around the tooth, and take your temperature. Rinse the mouth thoroughly with warm water to remove any food debris, and call our office or ask your dentist to refer you to us for an appointment. If the pain or swelling is intense, contact our office immediately for an emergency appointment.  We prioritize emergency patients because as Endodontists, we are specially trained in the diagnosis of facial and dental pain.


If you experience intense but transient pain when biting into very hot or cold foods, you may have dentin hypersensitivity. This can be caused by many different factors, but some people simply have sensitive teeth. Switch to a toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth for a few weeks, and pay attention to whether it helps.

If you are still experiencing sensitivity after one month, schedule a check-up. It is possible that you have an underlying issue, such as inflamed dental pulp, that is causing the pain. Even if we don’t find a cause, we can treat the ongoing sensitivity.

Tooth pain can be life interrupting, or can make you feel miserable. Alleviating dental and facial pain is our specialty.  We see patients daily who have developed symptoms suddenly. Our diagnostic and treatment skills allow us to quickly identify the cause of the problem and help patients get back to their normal routine.  Whether you see your general dentist first or call us directly, we will work you into our schedule ASAP.

North Shore & Brookline Endodontics is a specialty dental practice limited to endodontic therapy, with six clinics in the greater Boston area. Our mission is to use our knowledge and experience in root canal therapy to save teeth that would otherwise be lost. If you are searching for a skilled, compassionate endodontist in greater Boston, call the closest office today to learn how we can help.

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