Tooth pain is not an uncommon experience. While there are several reasons for tooth pain, some are more serious than others. One simple explanation for tooth pain is a bit of sensitivity. Unfortunately, sometimes tooth pain can indicate more serious concerns like tooth decay, an abscess, or damaged dental work.
If your tooth pain is caused by sensitivity, it should be found throughout your mouth. If the pain is located on one specific tooth, you likely have a more serious issue. If it is found throughout your mouth and specifically occurs when enjoying something hot or cold, then it is more likely to be tooth sensitivity.
An abscess in a tooth is essentially an infection that happens inside the hard shell of the tooth. That area is a softer pulp. If there is tooth decay or gum disease, that inner pulp can become infected. The bacteria inside will begin to multiply. This leads to swelling pain and is often accompanied by a fever. An abscess should be looked at by a dentist who can then refer you for treatment.
Tooth decay is another term for cavities. These occur when the hard, outer shell of the tooth begins to wear away because of the bacteria from the food you eat. We typically try to prevent this decay by brushing regularly to remove that bacteria from the surface of our teeth. When bacteria are allowed to live and replicate, it can dissolve the enamel of the teeth and create holes in the tooth. These holes are tooth decay.
Occasionally, tooth pain can be caused by damage to the previous dental work. This means a filling has fallen out, and the tooth decay area is now exposed, allowing air and bacteria to enter the area. In other cases, it might be that a crown has come loose or cracked. If you experience tooth pain in an area of your mouth where you know you have had previous dental work done, be sure to see your dentist so that they can check for damage.