Pain in teeth, cause

Dental pain is common. A cause cannot always be found. Sometimes it is difficult to localize the pain because it radiates to other parts of the mouth. An inflamed molar or tooth can be very painful, but inflamed gums also cause this complaint. Sometimes the pain is only on the right or left side, but sometimes also in the entire mouth. The dentist, dental hygienist or dental surgeon will start appropriate treatment as soon as possible if the cause is serious.

Pain in a molar

Everything in the mouth can hurt. Tooth pain is one of the most commonly heard complaints. The molars have to endure a lot every day. Food is ground with it and cleaning the molars is sometimes neglected. The back molars in particular are sometimes difficult to reach and food residues can therefore remain behind. Pain in the tooth is often the result of inflammation caused by bacteria. This can occur in two ways:

  • Through the gums: plaque that remains on the gum line calcifies after 24 to 48 hours and becomes tartar. Tartar is a source of bacteria to which new dental plaque easily adheres. The gum line deviates slightly from the tooth due to irritation. A pocket is created. Bacteria enter through this pocket and cause inflammation. This inflammation can move deeper and deeper inside.
  • Through a hole in the tooth: Bacteria in dental plaque secrete an acid that attacks the enamel. The enamel dissolves and allows bacteria to enter. A hole or caries is created. As caries progresses, the bacteria penetrate deeper into the tooth. There is pain and sensitivity to cold, heat and sweets.

Gingivitis can be treated by a dental hygienist. This will thoroughly clean the teeth by removing tartar and cleaning the pockets. A cavity can be treated by the dentist. The hole is closed with a filling.
If toothache is not treated and the inflammation continues, the inflammation will affect the pulp. This is the living tissue inside the tooth. This causes severe pain. The nerve is irritated, causing throbbing and aching pain. Sometimes it is not even possible to sleep due to the pain. A root canal treatment prevents further death of the pulp. Without treatment, the pulp can die and the pain disappears. A root tip infection can still occur: the bacteria have penetrated the root tip. Pain arises again.


Toothache is also common. The teeth are located at the front of the teeth. Tooth pain can occur as a result of a cavity, but even more often as a result of gum disease. The front teeth of the lower jaw in particular are more likely to contain tartar because they are located opposite the salivary glands. The teeth are more often affected by receding gums. This can be seen by the fact that the front teeth become longer. On the one hand this has to do with old age, on the other hand with brushing too hard or gum infections. After each inflammation, the gums recede slightly. This exposes the necks of the teeth. The result is complaints such as sensitivity to cold and heat, sweets and sometimes also to touch.
The front teeth have to deal with great forces because food is bitten off with them. Just think of biting an apple. But people who grind their teeth or press their teeth tightly together (jaw clenching) also place a heavy burden on their teeth. This can cause them to become irritated and cause pain. When the teeth are allowed to rest for a while, the pain will also disappear. For jaw clenching, the dentist can make a mouthguard that is usually worn at night.

Entire teeth hurt

When everything hurts, there is a serious inflammation that has affected all areas, or an inflammation that radiates to other teeth and molars. An accident can also cause pain throughout the teeth. Just think of a fall on the jaw, where the entire dentition takes an impact. Sometimes the blow is so hard that the teeth become loose and in severe cases even fall out. The dentist can sometimes save the teeth urgently. Loose teeth often grow back, but sometimes the tooth still dies.
Canker sores or other inflammations can also cause everything in the mouth to hurt. The mouth is very sensitive and contains many nerves, both in the teeth and in the oral cavity itself. Any irritation or inflammation is therefore immediately observed. When in doubt, it is better to visit the dentist. This can assess whether treatment is necessary.


Bleeding of the teeth is usually caused by bleeding gums due to inflammation. The gums can bleed when brushing, brushing or stirring, but also when eating something hard such as baguette. Bleeding gums are always irritated gums. The bleeding is actually a defense mechanism of the body. It combats inflammation, causing the gums to swell and improve blood circulation. In many cases, the body is not able to cope with the inflammation itself because new plaque is continuously formed, but good oral hygiene often helps. Gums that bleed even outside brushing are even more serious: the inflammation has been able to spread. A visit to the dentist is definitely recommended.

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  • Root tip inflammation: cause and treatment
  • Sensitive teeth
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