Woman suffering from sudden tooth pain

10 Jan 5 Reasons You May Experience Sudden Tooth Pain

Experiencing tooth pain is never fun, especially when it comes on unexpectedly. The good news is that you’re not alone. There are lots of people who experience some sort of sudden tooth pain, with two of the most common reasons being that you have developed some tooth sensitivity or one of your teeth is cracked or infected, and most cases of sudden tooth pain are easily treated by your dentist.

We’ve highlighted five of the possible reasons why you might experience sudden tooth pain.

Woman having routine dental exam

Sudden Tooth Pain: Sensitivity to Heat or Cold

One of the most common reasons that people experience sudden tooth pain is due to tooth sensitivity. When the enamel on your teeth gets worn down, it can lead to exposed roots. This can cause sharp, sudden flashes of pain when eating or drinking things with either extremely high or extremely low temperatures. If you think you might have some tooth sensitivity, make sure to schedule a dental exam with your dentist to have your teeth checked out.

Gum Recession

Your gums are the layer of skin that covers the bone and surrounds the root of the tooth, helping protect the nerve endings in the teeth. Gum tissue can wear, which causes gum recession. Gum recession will leave the roots of your teeth exposed which in turn makes them more sensitive than normal. If you are experiencing sudden tooth pain and have ruled out general tooth sensitivity, then gum erosion might be the culprit.

Enamel Erosion

The enamel that coats and protects your teeth can be worn away by things like brushing your teeth too hard or eating a highly acidic diet. These can lead to a form of “dentin sensitivity”, which can result in discomfort when they eat, often in the form of sharp, stabbing pain when eating certain foods. Avoiding highly acidic foods and taking care when brushing your teeth can both help you to avoid enamel erosion and the tooth pain that can come along with it.

Woman clenching her teeth in her sleep

Tooth Decay

If your teeth or a specific tooth have recently started to bother you, then you might have tooth decay, also referred to as a cavity. Tooth decay can linger on the top and sides of your teeth without being noticed, and as the tooth enamel is worn down, you might experience pain in your tooth. The great news is that cavities are easily preventable with regular trips to your dentist and can be easily treated with a filling.

Grinding or Clenching Jaws

Another reason why you might be experiencing sudden tooth pain is if you grind or clench your teeth. This can lead to chronic tooth sensitivity from the constant wearing down of your tooth’s enamel. Some people might not even know they grind or clench their teeth, because you can do it at night while you’re sleeping, as well as in high-stress circumstances. If you have tooth pain and have been sleeping poorly, it might be due to clenching or grinding your teeth.

While sudden tooth pain might be alarming, especially if it is not something you’ve experienced before, the good news is that in most cases, it is easily treated. It is important to know that tooth pain won’t often go away by itself, so it is always best to visit your dentist to have any sudden tooth pain checked out and treated.



Are you experiencing any unexplained tooth pain? Contact us today to schedule a dental exam with our experienced team!