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

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

POSTED BY brant ON May 3, 2023, 8:11 am

Tooth pain can be mild or severe. It may come and go or stay constant. It can occur on one tooth or several teeth. Tooth pain can also be a sign of a more serious problem. If you are experiencing tooth pain, make sure to visit your dentist as soon as possible to resolve the problem. Here are the common reasons for toothache. 

Gum recession

Patients who are experiencing gum recession often complain of sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, which could be due to the exposure of the tooth root itself and the sensitivity of the dentin layer present under the enamel. Some other symptoms are bad breath, bleeding gums, loose teeth, and even pain when biting down. These symptoms indicate an infection of the roots in the jawbones, which may lead to tooth loss if it is not treated properly. 


This could happen as a result of gum recession – when the roots of teeth become exposed. You might also experience it if you grind your teeth on a regular basis. Worn-down enamel can also expose dentin, causing sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and increasing your chances of tooth decay.

Your dentist may recommend an in-office fluoride treatment to strengthen your enamel and prevent further erosion. You should also avoid chewing on objects that are too hard or sticky, such as ice and caramel candies. It’s also important to wear a custom-fitted mouthguard when you play sports. This can cushion your teeth from a blow and protect them from damage.


Dental decay is the most common cause of sudden tooth pain. The decay eats away at the enamel of the tooth and reaches the softer inner dentin layer. The pain occurs when the cavity gets close to the nerve center, causing inflammation. Once your dentist removes the decayed part of the tooth, the pain should go away. If it does not, they could be a sign of a more serious problem like gum disease.

Gum infection

Any kind of gum disease can cause sudden tooth pain. If your gums are inflamed due to an infection, this can also affect your jaw, causing referred pain throughout the face and head. In addition to pain, there could be bleeding, gum swelling, and a foul taste in the mouth. One common sign of gum infection is bad breath that doesn’t go away after brushing. If you notice any of these symptoms, see a dentist as soon as possible!

Cracked or broken tooth

A cracked or broken tooth can also cause sudden tooth pain. If you’re experiencing throbbing, sharp pain, and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, then you may have a fractured tooth or a damaged filling or restoration. See the dentist right away to get the discomfort relieved. Your dentist may need to repair or extract the affected tooth. After the procedure is complete, you’ll likely need to follow a temporary soft food diet while the area heals. Your dentist may also recommend medications to help with any pain or inflammation.

Broken tooth or crown

If a crown falls off on its own or breaks away from your tooth, it’s best to call your dentist to have it replaced. Leaving the crown off of your damaged tooth for too long can cause further damage. Replacing your missing dental crown can help prevent further complications such as tooth decay, gum disease, and an abscessed tooth. Your dentist may fit you with a temporary crown while you await your new restoration.

Sinus infection

It is not uncommon for people to have sinus pain that radiates to the teeth. This often occurs after an upper respiratory infection, allergy attack, or cold. The sinuses are hollow spaces in the skull that are lined with mucous membranes. They are connected to your nasal passages and affect your ability to breathe properly. When they become inflamed and filled with fluid, they can become blocked and cause pressure and pain in your face and head. 

Jaw clenching

A misaligned bite and teeth-grinding habits like jaw clenching are just two of the symptoms of TMJ disorder. In most cases, a dentist can diagnose this condition with a physical exam that will include looking for signs of tenderness along the jawline, neck, and head. Your dentist might also recommend imaging tests such as X-rays and MRIs to get a closer look at your teeth and jaw alignment.

If you are diagnosed with this disorder, treatment will likely include using a mouth guard at night to stop you from grinding down your teeth while you sleep. 

At Kennedy Heights Dental Centre, we strive to provide our patients with a positive and relaxing experience. If you’re ready to experience the best dental care, please contact us at 778.438.2084. or visit us at 11960 88 Ave, Delta, BC V4C 3C8. 

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