Tooth Pain

Severe Tooth Pain: A Symptom of Infection or Something Else?

Yes, severe tooth pain can be an indication of a bacterial infection in the tooth, though it is not the only possible cause.

I’ve seen lots of people who are unsure why their tooth is hurting. They asked me if the pain was caused by an infection or something else.

Most of the time, tooth pain is not caused by an infection. People may not take notice of the signs initially. But as the pain increases, they tend to seek out the dentist for a consultation to find out what is causing the discomfort.

What is Tooth Pain actually?

A sensation of discomfort in the area of the teeth or surrounding them is often referred to as toothache. It can be caused by a lot of things like abscesses, decay, infections, dental trauma, and bad oral habits.

Teeth are made of several layers, with the innermost layer being the dental pulp. This area contains lots of nerves and blood vessels. So if it’s disturbed, it sends pain signals to your brain and you feel toothache.

How many types of Tooth Pain are there?

Tooth pain can range from mild to unbearable, depending on the situation. You could feel a dull pain, normal pain, severe pain, throbbing, or sharp pain. If you’re feeling any type of pain, it’s best to go to the dentist.

Tooth pain could get worse and cause you a lot of discomfort. It can also cause pain around your face, like jaw pain, headaches, earache, pain behind your eyes, and most importantly pain in the temple area.

What are the possible reasons for Severe Tooth Pain?

I mentioned earlier that there are several potential causes of toothache. I would like to explain why you are currently suffering from severe tooth pain. Perhaps something other than an infection is to blame for the severe tooth pain.

Gum Infection:

Gums play a major role in keeping our teeth strong, as they tightly attach the four sides of the teeth. However, if the gum becomes infected, it can lead to periodontitis, which weakens the muscles in the gums and causes them to loosen.

This allows bacteria to enter and grow, resulting in pain in the teeth. Furthermore, due to the loosening of the gum, the teeth can start mobility or even fall out. Ultimately, gum infection can lead to severe tooth pain.

Symptoms of Gum Infections:

  1. Red, swollen, or tender gums
  2. Bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing
  3. Receding gums
  4. Loose or shifting teeth
  5. Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  6. Pus between the teeth and gums
  7. Pain while chewing or biting
  8. Disturbance in the way of teeth biting or fitting together

Tooth Decay (Cavities):

Cavities can cause severe tooth pain sometimes. No matter what age you are, tooth decay is a very common issue. It can affect both children and adults and is directly linked to proper oral hygiene.

Studies have shown that the average number of cavities in people between the ages of 20 and 64 is nine or more. Although this number may have increased since the research was conducted.

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria infect the pulp of the tooth. Pain may occur depending on the depth and severity of the cavity.

Symptoms of Tooth decay:

  1. Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  2. Visible holes or pits in the tooth
  3. Pain when biting or chewing
  4. Swelling or tenderness of the gums
  5. Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  6. Darker or discolored tooth
  7. A tooth that feels loose or wiggly
  8. Sensitive tooth to touch or pressure
  9. A tooth with a rough or uneven surface
  10. A small, dark spot appears on the surface of the tooth

Accident or Dental Trauma:

Bruised Teeth may lead to severe tooth pain without any indication of an infection. Suppose you have been in a car accident, hit in the face with an object, or experienced any other type of trauma, You may be experiencing severe tooth pain.

This is because when the body experiences trauma, it goes into shock and may not experience pain right away. But Over time, the pain starts to get worse and worse until it becomes very intense. If this is the case, many people seek out the help of a dentist.

Symptoms of Dental Trauma:

  1. Broken, chipped, cracked, or loosened teeth
  2. Knocked-out teeth
  3. Avulsed (completely knocked-out) teeth
  4. Bitten tongue or lip
  5. May feel pain in different parts of the face, like the jaw, behind the eyes, etc
  6. Gums or face swelling
  7. Bruising or bleeding in the mouth
  8. Disruption in opening the mouth
  9. Difficulty speaking or difficulty with biting or chewing
  10. Loose or shifting teeth
  11. Upper and lower jaw alignment issues
  12. Teeth look may change
  13. Numbness or tingling in the tongue, lips, or gums
  14. Feel sensitivity sometimes
  15. The teeth look like they are discolored
  16. Dizziness or nausea

Pulpitis or Pulp Infection:

Not taking oral hygiene seriously is the main cause of serious toothaches. When an infection spreads to the inner soft part of the tooth (Pulp), it is referred to as pulpitis. You may experience acute throbbing pain that comes and goes in waves.

Bacterial infections don’t happen overnight – it takes time to develop and spread. You can easily prevent this by paying more attention to your oral hygiene.

Tooth pain caused by an infection is really common, but it’s not the only thing that can cause severe tooth pain.

Symptoms of Pulpitis:

  1. Severe tooth pain, especially when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and liquids
  2. Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  3. Pain that comes and goes
  4. Pain that is severe at night
  5. Pain & Swelling that radiates to the jaw, ear, or other teeth
  6. Swelling of the gums
  7. Discoloration of the affected tooth
  8. Dull ache in the affected tooth
  9. Tenderness to touch or pressure on the affected tooth
  10. Bad taste in the mouth
  11. A dental abscess (a pocket of pus) may develop

Bad Eating Habits:

Your eating habits have a direct impact on the health of your teeth. If you’re dealing with severe tooth pain, it could be due to something you’re eating.

If you bite down on something hard with too much force, your tooth could crack and you’ll be in a lot of pain. That pain can come on suddenly or build up slowly over time.

If it builds up slowly, that’s even worse because bacteria can get into the crack and cause an infection which can lead to even more severe pain. Try to make sure you’re eating right and keep smiling!

Ignoring the Advice of the Dentist:

If you went to the dentist last time, your tooth was not properly treated. It occurs with patients. They experience pain because they do not always follow the dentist’s advice.

However, this pain does not indicate that they have a tooth infection. For example, suppose you recently had a root canal treatment. The tooth has died and no longer feels pain or hits.

Because of root canal therapy, your tooth will weaken over time and darken in color. This is happening in your mouth, but you are unaware of it.

When you chew something hard with a weaker tooth, it will crack or be damaged. And you will feel severe tooth pain. Try to change your bad habits, listen to your dentist, and keep smiling.

Damaged Filling:

In most cases, fillings last for a long time, but only if the dentist uses good-quality materials. As a result, if a filling is damaged, it can cause a severe toothache.

If your fillings are loose, it’s an open invitation for bacteria to get in and cause an infection, which can lead to painful toothaches.

It’s always best to go with good quality materials for dental fillings, like composite or ceramic. I rarely see people with problems unless they used low-quality materials. The filling in their tooth is messed up because they weren’t being careful and bit down too hard while eating.

Symptoms of Damaged Fillings:

  1. Sensitivity or pain in the filled tooth
  2. Visible cracks or chips in the filling
  3. Loose or displaced filling
  4. Discoloration or darkening of the filling
  5. Decay or cavities around the filling
  6. Recurrent tooth decay in the same area
  7. Loss of filling material
  8. Pain or discomfort while biting or chewing
  9. An unpleasant taste or a bad odor coming from the filled tooth

Wisdom Teeth:

When your wisdom tooth is trying to erupt but there isn’t enough space for it, you could experience severe pain. A wisdom tooth that does not come in properly puts pressure on the teeth closest to it. And you experience acute pain despite being free of infection.

Symptoms of Wisdom Tooth:

  1. Pain or discomfort in the back of the mouth
  2. Swelling or tenderness in the gums around the wisdom teeth
  3. Redness or bleeding of the gums
  4. Headache or jaw pain
  5. Difficulty opening the mouth or biting
  6. Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  7. Stiffness or pain in the jaw
  8. Crowding or shifting of the other teeth
  9. Infection or abscess in the gums
  10. Numbness or tingling in the tongue, lips, or cheek

So these are some of the ways you can experience severe pain even if you do not have an infection. So, if you experience tooth pain, don’t automatically assume that your tooth is infected. Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. So that you can be properly examined and treated.

If your dentist’s appointment is delayed and your pain has reached an acute degree, you can try home remedies for tooth pain relief. Of course, it is not a permanent solution, but you will feel more relaxed than before.

More queries about Tooth Pain:

  1. How to stop tooth pain fast at home?
  2. What food can you eat with an abscessed tooth?
  3. What to drink when you have a toothache?
  4. What is the numbing gel for a toothache?
  5. What should I do when nothing is helping my tooth pain?
  6. What to do if painkillers aren’t working for my toothache?
  7. Why my tooth hurts when I tap on it?
  8. Is it normal to have a headache with a toothache?
  9. How do you get rid of a toothache headache?
  10. How do I know if my teeth are causing headaches?
  11. Can toothache cause headache and eye pain?
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Dr. Ahtsham

I am a dentist. I am working hard to keep this blog updated for those suffering from tooth pain. It is my goal to make this blog the source for all information regarding tooth pain. Feel free to contact me if you are suffering from toothache.

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