4 Types of Tooth Pain, Explained

dental clinicTooth pain can range from uncomfortable to downright dreadful. While some very minor pain is nothing to worry about, most types of mouth pain warrant a trip to the dentist.

Some severe types of pain might even need to be treated at an emergency dental clinic. Use this guide to identify which type of pain you have, and what the cause might be. With more information, you’ll be better able to determine the best course of action to protect your oral health.

1. Constant, Dull Pain

This type of tooth pain is the most common. If your pain is minor, constant, and accompanied by mild gum swelling, the pain might not be cause for concern– you could simply have something lodged between your tooth and gum. However, if the pain doesn’t subside after a few good flosses, it might actually be caused by tooth grinding at night, especially if the discomfort extends to your jaw. If pain persists or worsens, contact an oral surgeon to discuss possible causes and solutions.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity doesn’t always cause pain; some patients describe the sensation as tingly. This mild sensitivity can be managed with special kinds of toothpaste. However, for others, sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweets causes short bursts of fairly intense pain. Intense sensitivity or sensitivity that lasts more than 30 seconds could signal tooth decay, which impacts more than 1 in 4 (27%) U.S. adults.

3. Inconsistent, Sharp Pain

Occasional sharp bursts of pain are unpleasant surprises that definitely should be checked out by a dentist. Don’t put off your visit just because the pain isn’t always present. Inconsistent pain that occurs when you bite down, yawn, or touch the affected tooth most often signals physical tooth damage. You may have a tooth fracture or cracked enamel. Act fast and schedule an appointment to prevent that occasional pain from becoming constant.

4. Severe Pain

If your tooth pain is severe, throbbing, and rarely subsides, head to an emergency dentist or oral surgeon. Often, this kind of pain comes with facial or gum swelling which may indicate a dangerous infection. Whatever the cause, if your pain is severe enough to distract you from daily life, let a dentist help you solve the problem. You might need oral surgery or a tooth extraction to finally find relief.

No matter the type, tooth pain can be frustrating and scary. Use this guide to determine what might be causing your discomfort. Recognize when to see an oral surgeon or when to call an emergency dentist, so that your pain doesn’t worsen. For more great tips about protecting your smile, contact East Mississippi Oral and Facial Surgery today!