Health and Fitness

Common Causes of Severe Tooth Pain

You’ve just sat down with your favorite snack. You go to take a bite when you experience a sudden pain in your mouth as soon as your teeth apply pressure to your first mouthful. What could be causing this? As it turns out, there are a few different things that commonly cause severe tooth pain.

Tooth Decay

Out of the three layers that make up teeth, only one of them, the innermost layer called pulp, is able to feel pain. When tooth decay reaches the dentin, it can cause pain. Tooth decay happens when bacteria builds up and feeds on the sugars and food particles left behind when you eat. These bacteria produce plaque, which results in the hard outer layer, called enamel, wearing away. The more your tooth wears away, the more exposed the pulp and nerves become, leading to greater sensitivity and eventually resulting in constant pain.

Wisdom Teeth Eruption

If you’ve spent any time around very young children, you’ve probably heard them fussing because they’re teething. Teeth growing through the gum can be very uncomfortable. This is especially the case in the event of wisdom teeth which are generally quite large. Even if they’re growing correctly, the process can be uncomfortable or even quite painful, especially if you don’t have a mouth big enough to accommodate them. You’ll need to get them extracted if that’s the case. Unless they’ve erupted fully, you’ll probably be sedated. You should make arrangements for a ride after the procedure. You won’t be safe to drive for some time afterward while you wait for the sedation to wear off.


For some people, bruxism, the term for grinding and clenching the teeth, doesn’t seem to cause problems. For others, the pressure that is exerted on the teeth can lead to extreme discomfort. This is because that pressure being exerted on a constant basis can wear away at the enamel. As with tooth decay, the enamel being damaged makes the pulp and nerves more vulnerable. In some cases the tooth can even fracture. There are a few underlying reasons for bruxism, so it may be a good idea to see if you’re dealing with any of those and address them.

If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain, there are a number of different things that could be causing it. Tooth decay, erupting wisdom teeth, and bruxism are just a few of the things that could be the reason behind your pain. The best thing to do is to visit a dentist as soon as possible so that you can get the problem identified and resolved.

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