Sudden Tooth Pain? Here’s What Might Be Causing It

Sudden Tooth Pain? Here’s What Might Be Causing It

Posted by John R. Brockman on Apr 29 2023, 10:24 PM

Tooth pain can be excruciating and unbearable. It can happen any time of the day and ruin your entire routine. Tooth pain can be caused due to a variety of reasons and can vary from mild to severe. Listed below are some common reasons for tooth pain.

Temperature sensitivity

When hot or cold temperatures trigger sudden tooth pain, it may mean that you suffer from temperature sensitivity. The causes of this can vary, but it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible if you suspect you are suffering from this condition.

If the temperature sensitivity is due to tooth decay, it typically means that you already have an infection in your mouth and that you need to see the dentist right away for treatment. You may also have a cracked tooth or an abscessed tooth. If the cause is gum recession, then you may be able to avoid further problems by practicing good oral hygiene and seeing the dentist for frequent examinations and cleanings.

Gum recession

Your gums might recede due to an injury, certain medications, hormonal changes, tobacco smoking, bruxism, and even improper brushing techniques. If the gumline becomes exposed, you could be much more sensitive to temperature change and feel mild to severe tooth pain as a result. To treat this issue and restore comfort, the gumline can be recontoured and filled in to look natural and healthy again. A soft-tissue laser may be used to remove excess gum tissue so that the tissue can heal properly.


If you wake up with sudden tooth pain, it could mean you have an erosion problem. When your tooth enamel thins, it exposes the underlying dentin. This layer contains microscopic tubes that lead to the nerves and blood vessels in your teeth. When the dentin is exposed, these tubes allow cold and heat to reach the nerve tissues inside your teeth. That triggers a painful response from your nerve center. With proper treatment, you can eliminate this discomfort for good.


One way in which cavities can form is when a tooth is worn down from excessive grinding or biting down too hard, but it can also be caused by improper oral hygiene practices. If plaque is left to build up on the surface of teeth, it can lead to an infection that can erode the tooth enamel over time. Hot and cold temperature changes can also trigger pain if an individual has a cavity close to the surface. While we tend to associate cavities with childhood, they can develop in adults as well. Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your smile. Brushing and flossing regularly is vital, along with scheduling your regular checkup and cleanings with your Flagstaff dentist. If you experience sudden tooth pain, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to determine the root cause.

Gum infection

If a tooth hurts suddenly and acutely, it might mean there is some sort of gum infection happening. Infections are extremely painful and can manifest with a simple toothache. They can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, excessive discharge from the mouth, swelling under the jaw, and more. If you are concerned you might have an infection in any of your gum tissues, consult your dentist as soon as possible.

Cracked tooth or crown

A cracked tooth can be excruciatingly painful and should be treated by a dental professional immediately. If the crack is minor, your dentist may be able to polish the tooth to restore its structure and appearance. However, if the damage is more widespread, the tooth may need additional treatment, such as a crown or a root canal.

Sinus infection

The sinus cavities are air-filled pockets that sit on either side of your nose and above your upper teeth. When these sinuses become inflamed for any reason, it can lead to significant pressure and pain in your head, face, neck, and jaw. This pain is often referred to as a “sinus headache” because it tends to feel like a throbbing headache between the eyes or around the upper molars.

If you notice sudden pain in your teeth accompanied by a headache and other symptoms, such as nasal congestion, fever, or earache, this might be caused by a sinus infection. We can perform a procedure called an endoscopic exam to diagnose the problem and determine the most effective treatment plan for you.

Jaw clenching

When you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at night, it puts pressure on the roots of the teeth and will eventually wear down the enamel and cause gum recession. This is especially common for those who suffer from bruxism or chronic grinding of the teeth. The constant pressure can cause the gums to recede, which can expose the root of the tooth and lead to tooth decay. If you experience sudden tooth pain when you wake up, your dentist may be able to recommend a night guard to protect your teeth and jaw from future damage.

To learn more, visit Brockman Family Dentistry at 11949 Lioness Way Suite 200, Parker, Co 80134, or call (303) 799-4333 for the best dental care.

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