5 Reasons for Tooth Pain

There are several reasons why your teeth may hurt, but when you’re in pain, you want to know the exact reason why. Fortunately, Dr. Datta Malyavantham and his team at Ridgetop Dental in Sterling, VA and Reston, VA know several common reasons that may help you understand your dental pain and find relief.

Temperature Sensitivity

Does consuming very cold or hot food hurt your teeth? Teeth are supposed to be somewhat sensitive to temperature, but you should still be able to consume relatively hot and cold food without a problem. If your normal diet is causing problems, you might be experiencing tooth sensitivity as a result of exposed dentin, which is caused by eroded enamel.


When the tough outer layer of the teeth, called enamel, erodes due to tooth decay, cavities form. Enamel protects more sensitive tissue underneath, so when enamel is eaten away by oral bacteria, cavities form and cause sensitivity or pain. While common, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as you notice symptoms to avoid complex dental procedures.

Lost or Damaged Filling

If you’re having pain in a tooth that had a filling many years ago, it may have been lost or damaged. Fillings don’t last forever, so when they get lost, that sensitive area of the tooth is exposed again, which can cause pain. Your dentist needs to check the tooth for further decay and re-seal it to keep out additional bacteria and relieve the pain.

Wisdom Teeth

If you have pain in the back of your mouth and you haven’t seen your wisdom teeth yet, you may be experiencing wisdom tooth pain. Wisdom teeth erupt from the gums in adolescence and early young adulthood, but they can come in later than that. Because the rest of the teeth in your mouth are already set in place by the time wisdom teeth come in, they may not have enough room and can cause pain or become impacted. If they become impacted, they can form an abscess, which is a serious condition that needs to be treated quickly to avoid further systemic infection.

Teeth Grinding or TMJ

If you have a lot of tension in your jaw or if you often grind your teeth during the day or at night, you have bruxism, or teeth grinding. This can wear down enamel and cause persistent headaches, jaw pain, and toothaches. There are many different solutions to correct this problem, so consult with your dentist to find the right solution for your situation.

Sometimes, dental pain is a simple fix like a filling, but others are more serious and require more in-depth attention. The best thing to do when you’re in pain is to make an appointment at Ridgetop Dental to find the cause and relieve your pain quickly. Schedule online or call our Sterling office at 703-520-7410 today.

Complimentary Consultation