Toothaches and sensations of pain in the teeth will likely occur at some point over the course of one’s life, even among individuals who maintain excellent oral hygiene routines. These sensations can range from mild discomfort to severe and debilitating pain. In most cases, whether mild or severe, it is best to schedule a visit to the dentist as soon as possible to see what may be causing the issue, particularly when the pain is persistent or recurrent. There are a variety of dental care options available at Delmarva Dental Services that can relieve tooth pain and help prevent the problem from getting much worse. 

Here are some of the most common reasons why your teeth might hurt: 


Cavities are one of the most frequent causes of tooth pain. They occur when bacteria in your mouth produce acid that erodes the tooth enamel and underlying dentin. This decay can lead to small holes in your teeth, which can cause pain, especially when eating or drinking hot, cold, or sweet substances.

Cracked or Damaged Teeth

Teeth can crack from an injury, grinding, or biting on something hard. A cracked tooth can cause pain because it often exposes the sensitive inner pulp of the tooth, where nerves and blood vessels are located.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, can cause the gums to become swollen, sore, and infected. As the disease progresses, it can lead to receding gums and the formation of pockets between the gums and teeth, potentially exposing more of the tooth and its roots, which can be quite painful.

Tooth Abscess

An abscess is a severe and painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. It is usually caused by severe tooth decay, gum disease, or a cracked tooth. It may cause a noticeable lump or bump near the tooth; however, an abscess may not be visible in some cases. These infections can cause significant pain and can lead to more serious health complications, including heightened risks to general health, if not treated promptly.

Tooth Sensitivity

If you experience pain in your teeth when consuming foods or drinks that are hot, cold, sweet, or very acidic, you may have tooth sensitivity. This can be caused by enamel that has been worn down, exposing the softer dentin beneath, or by gum recession that exposes the roots of the teeth.

Sinus Pressure

Sometimes, what feels like tooth pain is actually sinus pressure or an infection, particularly in the upper teeth, which are close to the sinus cavities. When sinuses become inflamed, it can cause pain that mimics a toothache.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)

A common condition known as TMJ Disorder indicates issues with the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull. TMJ Disorder can cause pain in the jaw that can be mistaken for tooth pain. 

Pressure from Wisdom Teeth 

The development of wisdom teeth can sometimes create a feeling of pressure among an entire row of teeth. Wisdom teeth do not often have enough room to erupt, and they may also erupt at an irregular angle, which can lead to this uncomfortable pressure on surrounding teeth. 

What Should I Do When My Teeth Hurt?

If you are experiencing tooth pain, it is important to consult with a dentist as soon as possible. They can diagnose the exact cause of your pain and provide the appropriate treatment. Meanwhile, maintaining good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, and avoiding very hard or sticky foods can help prevent many of the causes of tooth pain.

Understanding the root cause of tooth pain is crucial to effectively addressing it and improving your oral health. If you are experiencing tooth pain, please don’t hesitate to contact our dentists here at Delmarva Dental Services to schedule an oral exam.