Why is a tooth aching and what are the causes of pain?


Why is a tooth aching and what are the causes of pain?

Many of us have experienced this or that toothache: sharp, piercing of the entire jaw, ear, eye, or aching monotonous, then amplified, then subsides, then arises from various stimuli (water, air, food). That night, then the afternoon.

Only when you feel the toothache do you begin to wonder why he did not go to the dentist in time. After all, when a toothache is impossible to do anything, neither at home, nor at work. Let's try to describe the main moments of pain and its causes.

Why is a tooth aching?

Toothache occurs when irritation of the nerve receptors, which are in different parts of the maxillofacial system. All the processes that occur in the teeth cause irritation of the receptor apparatus.

Pathological processes signal from receptors to the cerebral cortex and then turn into a sensation of pain. The most pain receptors are inside the tooth cavity (tooth pulp) or nerve, as patients usually say. These receptors have a protective function and if you experience even the first pain, you should consult your dentist, as ignoring them can lead to serious complications.

Tooth decay

Most often there is a pain from sweet, cold. It quickly disappears if you remove the stimulus. This is a signal that you need to see your doctor. First, you will keep the tooth alive, and secondly (we will translate it into the financial plane) you will save your own budget, since filling the teeth is much cheaper than treating the tooth canals. Of course, prevention is much cheaper and a doctor's visit twice a year is just the best option that will save you healthy teeth and help you avoid significant costs for treatment.


The pain usually comes at night. Intense, ear-giving, tooth-antagonist. The patient cannot accurately indicate which tooth is ill and whether the tooth is at all. Treatment of pulpitis is more complicated and more expensive than caries.

From minuses the tooth, after treatment, is deprived of nerve receptors. But, if we postpone "for later" and after suffering this pain (yes, such cases occur), we move on to the next "obligatory" stage of development of the problem of periodontitis.


Periodontitis usually occurs after the patient has ignored the symptoms of pulpitis or after unsuccessful canal treatment. Or under the crown (sometimes the patient complains that the tooth is sore under the crown). As a rule, patients cannot close their teeth, the feeling that the tooth seems to have grown and cannot be touched, the pain is intense, pulsating, pain when clicking on the tooth.

But here, too, there are cases when the patient tries to endure this pain and we move on to the next stage, which usually does not go without periodontitis, is periostitis, or as patients say flux.


The pain disappears sharply, but there is a swelling from the diseased tooth, tooth mobility. The reason for this is a purulent process that resorbed the bone wall and came out under the mucous membrane (gum).

The treatment of such processes is expensive and time consuming, plus it reduces the chances of a 100% positive result. But, in such processes, do not rush to remove the tooth. Talk to your doctor, or rather a few, and then decide whether or not to have a tooth.

Enamel sensitivity

Often there is pain in the teeth when used incorrectly and in the selection of a toothbrush and paste. The so-called enamel sensitivity. At regular check-up at the dentist, such causes disappear on their own and no longer appear.

The pain that appears then disappears in the chewing teeth of the mandible. It is usually a retentive (under-cut) wisdom tooth that presses on adjacent teeth. Therefore, before removing this type of pain, make a radiodiagnosis so that you "accidentally" do not remove the nerves in the adjacent healthy teeth.

Pain in the upper teeth that gives in to the eye, an ear that is very similar to the pulpitis most often caused by problems with the maxillary / sinus sinuses. For diagnosis, it is best to consult an otolaryngologist and have a CT scan of the upper jaw.

Basically do not rush to cure the channels (depulpation) in healthy teeth. With sinusitis you will immediately feel relief and in a few days you will be covered by a second wave of pain.


  • If there is a toothache, be sure to see your dentist.
  • Do not tighten. Rather, it means more chance of good treatment results. Yes, the treatment itself is cheaper.
  • Proper diagnosis of the key to successful treatment of your tooth.
Why is a tooth aching and what are the causes of pain?

Dr. Lidia Bulygina

Specialization: endodontics, pediatric dentistry
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