What Causes Tooth Pain?

tooth pain treatment chapel hillAnyone who’s ever had a toothache knows how unpleasant it can be. The sooner it can be relieved, the better. Feeling pain in your teeth is not normal and can be a warning of a serious problem that needs to be addressed. If your teeth hurt, it is recommended that you schedule with your dentist as soon as possible.

He or she can then do a thorough dental examination and answer the question that has probably been plaguing you: What’s causing my tooth pain?  Dr. James P. Furgurson of Chapel Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry wants to educate his patients about the common causes of tooth pain. It can be a number a reasons, but here are the most common.

Cavity Causing Tooth Pain

A cavity is simply a hole that tooth decay has made in your enamel. Bacteria have eaten away at plaque and through your enamel. This exposes your nerves in your tooth,creating sensitivity that results in tooth pain. They can also put you at risk of infections inside your tooth that can lead to more serious medical issues. Cavities are easiest to manage when they are small and the tooth can be saved.

Damaged or Lost Filling

Sometimes a filling can fall out or be damaged, which will cause issues with your bite, leading to pain. A visit to your dentist can determine what needs to be done to eliminate the pain.

Teeth Grinding/Clenching/TMJ

You may find yourself bearing down on your teeth during the day, or wake up with a sore jaw, which is a good indication you are clenching or grinding your teeth at night. Your dentist can offer solutions to help save your teeth from excess wear and tear, as well as painful headaches, toothaches and jaw pain.

Abscessed Tooth

A tooth abscess forms when there is an infection at the tooth’s roots. It is extremely painful and only a dentist visit can help so antibiotics can be administered and the tooth treated. Failure to address it can lead to a widespread infection.

Wisdom Teeth Coming In

When your wisdom teeth begin to erupt, they can cause a great deal of pain, swelling, and jaw stiffness. Your dentist can determine if the teeth are coming in properly or if they should be removed.


Injury caused by such things as contact sports or an accident can cause any number of problems including a “bruised” or deep discoloring of the tooth, a broken tooth, or total loss of one or more teeth.

Temperature Sensitivity

When the underlying layer of the tooth, called the dentin, is exposed due to cracks in the enamel or the recession of the gums, your teeth may become sensitive to either hot or cold temperatures, or both.

Orthodontic Treatment

When you have your braces adjusted, you are likely to experience some level of discomfort or even outright pain. This is normal and using an over-the-counter pain medicine, or if the issue is caused by the hardware itself, a little ball of dental wax, should do the trick.

Teeth Whitening

Most people will feel some discomfort after a professional teeth-whitening treatment, but the pain should abate within a day. Talk to your dentist if it is too painful or problematic.

Relieve Tooth Pain in Chapel Hill, NC

No matter what the reason, we understand that living with tooth pain can be agonizing, stop asking, “What’s causing the pain in my teeth?” and schedule an appointment with Dr. Furgurson by calling 919.736.6175 or through our online portal. Most dentists keep appointments available in their schedules for dental emergencies, especially when you are experiencing pain. They will identify the cause and help you find relief.