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4 reasons why your teeth may be hurting suddenly

Are you experiencing toothache and you are not sure why? Here are some of the potential reasons

19 April, 2024

If you’ve suddenly noticed a random pain flashing in and out of your gums or experienced a toothache that came out of nowhere then you’re not alone.

It’s estimated that around 3 million people in the UK suffer from regular oral pain. And over a third of them mask that pain with medication or just outright ignore it.

Your teeth (and gums) are not designed to inflict pain on you and if you find yourself suffering from bouts of pain there here are 4 possible reasons why your teeth may be suddenly hurting.

Tooth sensitivity is caused by worn enamel or exposed nerves in your tooth

1. You’ve eaten or drank something either really cold or really hot

Think ice cream and a hot steaming cup of cocoa. Sure, it sounds great but it will wreak havoc on your enamel. And you’ll experience this in the form of tooth sensitivity.

Tooth sensitivity is caused by worn enamel or exposed nerves in your tooth. So when you eat (or drink) something that is really high or low in temperature you feel a sudden sharp flash of pain.

2. Your enamel is eroded or eroding

It’s estimated that over 2 million UK adults haven’t been to the dentist in 10 years. 6% of adults in the UK admit to never visiting the dentist. And 11% think they don’t need to go to the dentist.

Unlike other parts of our body enamel doesn’t grow back

So it’s safe to imagine that there is a chance a significant amount of adults in the UK have no idea if their teeth are or are not in good health. Nor are they aware of how to achieve and maintain good oral health based on their specific cases.

One of the first things to go when we don’t maintain good oral hygiene is our enamel. And unlike other parts of our body, enamel doesn’t grow back.

Enamel erosion can happen from consuming a highly acidic diet, overeating sugary foods, brushing your teeth too hard as well as several other factors.

This means that our enamel (that is designed to coat and protect our teeth) begins to wear away,  leading to sharp pains in your tooth when you eat certain foods.

3. Your tooth has fallen victim to decay

With 31% of UK adults having tooth decay, it is not an uncommon reason for experiencing tooth pain. And if your teeth have suddenly started bothering you then tooth decay may be to blame as it can linger on your tooth for some time without being noticed.

When tooth decay begins to head towards becoming an infection that is when you’re likely to feel pain.

4. You’ve been grinding your teeth at night (or day)

Clinically known as bruxism, the grinding or clenching of teeth can lead to chronic tooth sensitivity because it wears away your enamel.

Around 8-10% of the UK population is affected by bruxism. And while it isn’t uncommon for it to happen from time to time,  strong links have been found between high-stress circumstances and grinding your teeth at night.

It’s done without you realising it’s happening which could be why it leads to a mysterious and sudden tooth pain being sprung on you.

If you have tooth pain and you feel like you may be suffering from one of the listed reasons above then get in touch with your dentist ASAP. They’ll be able to assess your teeth and provide you with treatment options.

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