What Causes Tooth Pain?

Tooth pain feels very debilitating. As it originates from your head it can be hard to soothe and very difficult to escape from. If you’ve ever experienced tooth pain you will know that it can make life feel quite difficult while it lasts. Understanding tooth pain is the key to handling it – and avoiding it – so what causes it and what solutions are there?

Pain when you eat hot or cold foods

This kind of tooth pain is normally a sign of decay or a loose filling. It may also be caused by receding gums or overly-aggressive toothbrush use causing the root of the tooth to be exposed. If you only experience pain when eating or drinking certain products then the problem is not yet too serious.

Solution: make sure you are practicing good dental hygiene with two brushing and one flossing sessions a day. Brush gently and use a fluoride toothpaste. Book a check up with your dentist for a once over.

Pain when you bite into something

If you only feel pain when you bite then you may have a cracked tooth or a problem with decay.

Solution: book an appointment to see your dentist and steer clear of hard and sticky foods in the meantime.

Ongoing pain after you eat

Although this kind of pain is triggered by hot or cold foods, it tends to linger which is an indication of something more serious. You may have some deep decay in one or more teeth or there could be damage from a physical trauma.

Solution: see your dentist as soon as you can and continue to brush and floss in the meantime.

Constant, acute pain

If you’re suffering constant tooth pain and it’s difficult to deal with then this is most likely caused by something more serious. An infection could be at the heart of the problem or you may have an issue with decay that has come very close to, or entered, the tooth nerve.

Solution: go to see your dentist straight away. Depending on the severity of the pain you may need to see an emergency dentist. The dentist may recommend extraction, depending on the state of the tooth.

Constant pain and gum swelling

If your toothache is accompanied with severe gum sensitivity and swelling then you may have an abscess, which can be quite serious.

Solution: it’s important to book an emergency dental appointment in a situation like this to get the problem treated urgently. You may need to have root canal surgery to correct the issue.


The health, safety and well-being of all of our patients is our top priority and we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure this. We are continuing to undertake a number of additional cleaning procedures, so the highest possible hygiene standards are upheld throughout the practices at all times. It is our intention to remain OPEN and continue to offer dental services including all emergency services to both our existing patients and any other patients in need of treatment. This will be subject to evolving government and NHS advice. Please contact your nearest practice for availability either by phone or email. We do ask that if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with anyone with confirmed Coronavirus to please call NHS 111 before making or attending your appointment.
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