teeth pain|find out different causes of tooth ache

Teeth Pain?...

...let's find out the cause!
Contact us    

Dr. Vella gives some insight

"Doctor, everytime I drink something cold I feel severe pain in my teeth." I probably hear this complaint ten times a day.  Another patient's complaint would be "I've spent the past 24 hours in excruciating pain, I barely slept at night!"

Teeth pain presents itself in different manners depending on the causative factor; it can be described as a sharp, shock like sensation  lasting for a few seconds.  It can otherwise be described as a  deep throbbing pain, lasting for a few minutes to hours. As a dentist, my job is to interpret the description of the pain, as described by the patient, to figure out the cause.

These pages provide an overview of the most common causes of tooth ache and also pain originating from the gums. A description of the type of pain usually associated with each different dental ailment is given as well as dentist's advice on how each condition should be treated. Reading this article will give you a good idea of the origins of your teeth pain.  The conditions which will be discussed are the listed below.

bullet|list of causes of teeth pain and gum pain
Dental Hypersensitivity
bullet|list of causes of teeth pain and gum pain Wisdom teeth pain
bullet|list of causes of teeth pain and gum pain Pain due to decayed teeth and fractured fillings
bullet|list of causes of teeth pain and gum pain Tooth ache which starts after dental procedures
bullet|list of causes of teeth pain and gum pain Gum infections
bullet|list of causes of teeth pain and gum pain Pain originating from other anatomical locations

Basics of Tooth Structure

Knowing some basic principles of the structure of teeth will help in understanding descriptions of dental problems used later on and how these problems give rise to teeth pain.

A tooth consists of two parts: the crown and the roots.  The crown is the part visible in the mouth, it's function is to chew food.  The roots lie beneath the level of the gums and are therefore not visble in healthy teeth.  Their function is to provide stability to the teeth by anchoring them in the bone.

Teeth are built up in layers. The outer layer, known as the enamel, serves as a protective shell for the inner layers which are more delicate.  Enamel is composed of non-vital material, just like fingernails or hair; if you cut through it, you will not feel pain.  The innermost layer or the core of the tooth is called the pulp cavity. Unlike the enamel the pulp is vital; nerve fibers and arteries pass through to provide nourishment for the tooth. 

tooth anatomy|origins of teeth pain|tooth ache
Because of these nerve fibres any dental problems affecting the pulp will cause severe teeth pain.  Sandwiched in between the enamel and the pulp is another protective layer, called the dentin. Nerve fibers from within the pulp chamber pass within tiny channels in the dentin; this makes dentin vital, which means that therefore any dental problems affecting the dentin will elicit teeth pain. The diagram gives a clear explanation of tooth structure. Note in the diagram that enamel (the outer layer) does not extend beneath the level of the gums; this will be relevant when dealing with the problem of dental sensitivity later on.

Dental Hypersensitivity

Description:  Patients suffering from dental hypersensitivity complain of severe teeth pain every time they drink something hot or cold, or even by touching the surface of the tooth. The pain is described as a "shock like" sensation originating from one or more teeth and usually lasts for only a few seconds.  It's more common in people above the age of 45 and once the symptoms start to appear it usually starts getting worse with time.

As mentioned in the description of tooth structure, some parts of a tooth  are resistant to hot and cold temperatures (such as the enamel) and some parts  are sensitive to extreme temperature variations (such as the second layer, called the dentine). In healthy  teeth,  the dentine  in the crown  is covered by the enamel while the dentine in the roots is covered by  Read more...

Wisdom Teeth Pain

Description:  Wisdom teeth pain is seen in people of all ages, but it is most common in people in their 20's.  In the early stages of wisdom tooth infection the pain is only felt when a person bites, however in later stages people suffering from wisdom teeth pain often describe a constant deep ache in their jaw often spreading to the ear and the side of the head.  When the infection becomes more severe, swelling of the face in the region of the wisdom tooth and a fever can also occure.

teeth are the very last teeth to erupt, usually between the ages of 18 and 28. There are four wisdom teeth;  Read more...
Pain due to decayed teeth and fractured fillings

Description: These two cases will be discussed together since the sympotoms felt by patients in both cases are very similar.  People who have decayed teeth or faulty restorations sometimes describe a 'shock like' pain when they eat or drink something cold or sweet. The flow of air around teeth which happens when a person breathes through the mouth can also induce this type of teeth pain.  The pain lasts for a few seconds then subsides. Teeth which have large cavities and are left untreated will cause even more severe pain; people describe a constant, deep throbbing pain which not only starts when a person eats or drinks something, but can also be spontaneous, even waking people up at night.

Tooth ache which starts after dental procedures

Description:  Here we discuss teeth pain which arises after visiting the dentist; sometimes we see patients who were not initially in pain,  but start experiencing pain after visiting the dentist for routine treatment.  The description of the pain varies according to the type of treatment carried out.  The four scenarios which will be discussed are pain after dental extraction, after fillings, after whitening procedures and pain after professional dental cleaning.  Read more...
Gum Infections

Description:  Even though the infection is in the gums, it is often described as teeth pain by patients, because many people are not able to distinguish between pain originating in the gums and pain originating in the teeth.  The pain caused by gum infections can either be felt as coming from a small localized part of the mouth or in more severe cases the whole mouth can be affected.  Apart from pain, people with gum infections also complain of bad breath and bleeding gums.  The gums in the affected area are usually red, swollen and very painful to touch.

Gums are the pink skin like part of the mouth which are found just below the teeth; thier function is to cover up the bone supporting the teeth and to prevent any debris or bacteria from entering the junction between teeth and their surrounding bone.  Read more...

Pain originating from other locations in the head

Patients suffering from illness in other parts of their head such as the sinuses, facial muscles or the temporomandibular joint (located in front of the ear) may suffer from teeth pain.  This happens because of a mechanism technically called referred pain, whereby pain originating in one location travels through nerve fibers to be felt in another location.  Visiting your dentist when feeling any type of teeth pain is always highly advisable; if your dentist finds no problems with your teeth and suspects that the pain is originating in any other location in the head, he would then refer you to an appropriate specialist for further treatment.

sinus infection cause of teeth pain

-   2013   -