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Sudden Tooth Pain? When a Toothache Is More Than Just a Nuisance

man holding faceNothing ruins your day, or restful evening, quite like a sudden, throbbing toothache. Tooth pain can start out of nowhere and quickly become unbearable, making it difficult to concentrate on anything else. While some tooth discomfort may be minor and pass quickly, other types of tooth pain demand prompt attention. Knowing the potential causes can help you determine if you need to see a Mason Dental right away.

Tooth Decay

One of the most common culprits behind sudden tooth pain is tooth decay or a cavity. As tooth enamel breaks down, decay can reach the inner layers of the tooth containing the sensitive nerve endings. When decay advances this far, it opens the door for infection and intense, persistent pain. Cavities usually require a filling or other restorative dental work.

Cracked or Broken Tooth

Your teeth are extremely strong, but they can still develop cracks or chips from trauma, grinding habits, or biting on something hard. Even a hairline crack that extends toward the tooth’s pulp can cause sharp jags of pain when biting down or exposing the area to hot or cold temperatures. Cracks or significantly broken teeth frequently need crowns or other procedures.


When the soft pulp inside a tooth becomes infected, a pocket of pus called an abscess can form. Abscesses make for excruciatingly painful toothaches as pressure builds up around the area. They also raise the risk of the infection spreading beyond the tooth if not treated promptly with a root canal or extraction. Abscesses produce severe, throbbing, continuous pain along with swelling in some cases.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

As wisdom teeth try to push through the gums, they can become stuck or impacted against the surrounding teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth restrict their ability to fully erupt, leading to pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and other problematic symptoms. Having them removed tends to be the most effective solution.

Gum Disease

Advancing gum disease, known as periodontitis, creates inflamed, sensitive gums that hurt when brushing, flossing, or applying pressure. You may notice your gums feel tender or start to bleed during brushing. Periodontitis ultimately damages the bone and tissues supporting teeth, making them loose over time. Gum disease requires a dentist’s care through scaling, root planing, or other therapies.

Night Time Grinding

Do you wake up with a dull, nagging jaw ache or tooth pain? If so, you could be grinding or clenching your teeth at night, putting excessive force on them. Over time, this teeth-grinding habit can wear down enamel and cause dental work to crack or dislodge. Wearing a custom night guard from your dentist protects your teeth.

While some tooth pain gets better on its own, sudden or severe discomfort in your mouth warrants a dental visit for examination and treatment. Don’t ignore the problem and risk it worsening. Make an appointment with your dentist right away if tooth pain persists or worsens.

If you live in the Grapevine, Colleyville, or Southlake area, consider scheduling a new patient or emergency dental appointment with our friendly team at Mason Dental. Our comprehensive services cover everything from general dentistry and restorations to cosmetic solutions and urgent dental issues. Let Dr. Mason and the team see if they can take away the nuisance and inconvenience of sudden tooth pain today!

Call the office at 817-809-6156, or request an appointment here!


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