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A dental emergency can be frightening and often painful, but they are not uncommon. A dental emergency is characterised by intense or worsening tooth pain. Tooth pain can be caused by several conditions, from deep decay to dental trauma.  

Discover some of the most common teeth pain causes and how you can receive treatment at Dapto Dentists.


Teeth Pain Causes

Tooth pain is caused by nerve irritation. Dental nerves are found inside the pulp tissue, along with blood vessels. You experience a toothache when you suffer from an oral health condition that impacts the pulp or the tooth layers surrounding the pulp, such as dentin. 



Some common causes of tooth pain include:


  • Tooth Decay 

Deep tooth decay is a serious problem that can cause tooth pain. When acid produced by bacteria erodes your teeth, it causes cavities. These tiny holes allow bacteria to enter the deeper layers of the tooth and cause an infection and tissue damage. This can lead to pain, swelling, and even tooth loss.


  • Dental Trauma

Dental trauma can also cause tooth pain. When you experience physical injury to your teeth due to a blow or fall, it can cause damage to the tooth’s structure. This can lead to pain, sensitivity, and infection. 

Chips and fractures can damage enamel or dentin. Dentin contains microtubules that lead to the pulp, causing increased tooth sensitivity and pain. However, when a tooth is broken or fractured, it can often expose the pulp, causing intense pain when biting down or chewing. If your teeth are subjected to trauma, visit an emergency dentist for immediate treatment. 


  • Dental Abscesses

Dental abscesses are another common cause of tooth pain. An abscess is a localised infection that forms a pocket of pus on the gums or tooth root and is often a result of tooth decay. This is often extremely painful and can lead to inflammation and swelling. If you notice an abscess forming, see an emergency dentist for treatment.


  • Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding (bruxism) is another common cause of tooth pain. When people grind their teeth, it puts excess pressure on the teeth and jawbone. This can lead to pain, inflammation, tooth decay, and even gum recession. 


  • Advanced Gum Disease

Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) is another major cause of tooth pain. The gum recedes and exposes the tooth root when gums become infected and inflamed due to periodontitis. This increases the risk of tooth decay at the root and can lead to significant pain.

These are only some of the emergency dental conditions that can cause teeth pain. If you experience any dental pain, consult a dental professional to rule out any serious underlying conditions.


Referred Tooth Pain

In some circumstances, tooth pain can be caused by issues in other areas of your head and neck. The pain in these areas radiates through your jaw to your teeth, causing a sensation like a toothache. This is called referred pain or non-odontogenic pain

Commonly referred teeth pain causes include:


  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

TMJ disorders refer to several conditions that can affect the temporomandibular joint (the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull.) TMJ disorders can cause teeth pain, jaw pain, earaches, and headaches. The pain is often exacerbated by biting down or chewing and can also be accompanied by clicking or popping noises in the joint.


  • Sinus Congestion

Sinus congestion refers to the build-up of mucus in the sinuses. This congestion can put pressure on the maxillary nerve, which can cause teeth pain in the upper dental arch.


  • Earaches

Earaches are a common symptom of many different illnesses and conditions. They can be caused by infections, allergies, TMJ disorders, and other health problems. Earaches often cause pain or discomfort in the ear, dizziness, and ringing in the ears; in severe cases, this pain can radiate throughout the head, particularly to the jaw. This can lead to tooth pain.


Is Tooth Pain a Dental Emergency?

There are specific symptoms that indicate that tooth pain is a dental emergency. If you experience any of the following symptoms of tooth pain, arrange to see an emergency dentist.

  • Fever: If a fever accompanies tooth pain, it can signify that your tooth’s pulp has become infected. addressing tooth pain dapto
  • Pus drainage from the gums or tooth: If you have tooth pain and simultaneous pus drainage from the nearby gum or affected tooth, it can be a sign of an abscess. 
  • Extreme tooth decay: If your tooth pain results from severe tooth decay, you should see an emergency dentist to determine if your tooth can be saved.
  • Swelling around the tooth or face: Inflammation in the mouth with accompanying tooth pain is a sign of several dental issues, including a potentially life-threatening abscess. Visit an emergency dentist to rule out any serious issues.
  • Extreme discomfort or lasting pain: If your tooth pain persists for an extended period or is unmanageable, you have a dental emergency. See a professional immediately to get the source of your pain treated.
  • Damage to the tooth: If your tooth has been chipped, cracked, broken, or knocked out, it is essential to receive immediate treatment. Receiving treatment shortly after suffering an injury can save your tooth.


Relieve Tooth Pain at Dapto Dentists

It is important to consult a dental professional as soon as possible if you are experiencing tooth pain. There are several teeth pain causes, some of which can be serious. 

Dapto Dentists can help you determine the cause of your tooth pain and provide the treatment you need to get relief. We offer a wide range of dental services and can help you find the right solution for your dental needs. Contact us today at (02) 4210 9058 to schedule an appointment.



Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.





Non-Odontogenic Toothache 

Managing Tooth Pain in General Practice

Tooth Decay: Overview

Gingivitis and Periodontitis: Overview

Dental Emergencies 

Taking Care of Your Teeth and Mouth








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