Sudden Tooth Pain: Possible Causes and Treatment Tips

Dental care

Anyone can experience sudden tooth pain without warning. It can happen to anyone, anytime, regardless of age and gender. Some might be triggered by the consumption of cold or hot food and drinks, while others will cause sudden pain without any apparent reason. The possibility of experiencing this type of pain is normal even if you take good care of your oral health. There are oral health conditions that are inevitable as we age, like tooth sensitivity and tooth decay.

People with certain health conditions like diabetes are also susceptible to developing issues with their oral health. Also, people who had injuries from sports or biting off hard food. These are some of the possible reasons why many individuals experience sudden tooth pain. We’ll talk about the possible causes and treatment tips in this article. If you want to learn more about the best clinical treatment methods for sudden tooth pain or any oral issues like sensitive teeth or cavities, Burwood-based Good Choice Dental can help solve these issues.


Possible Causes of Sudden Tooth Pain

Tooth Sensitivity: Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common reasons for possible tooth pain. The condition causes a sensation that ranges from mild to severe pain for short periods. It usually occurs when you consume hot or cold drinks or food. In some cases, even when you inhale cold air, the pain comes in suddenly. Another factor to consider is eating acidic food. Food with high acidity also causes sudden tooth pain if you have tooth sensitivity. The reason for tooth sensitivity is the loss of dental enamel. Dental enamel is the protective layer on the surface of the teeth. It usually recedes as we age. However, there are also possible causes why dental enamel gets thin. Here are the possible causes:

  • Brushing too hard
  • Dental work that uses a dental burr
  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental veneers
  • Periodontal disease
  • Too much accumulation of plaque and tartar
  • Injury, chipped or damaged tooth
  • TMJD or Bruxism

Things to Avoid:

  • Hot and cold food and drinks
  • Hard foods
  • Sticky foods
  • Sugary food and drinks

Treatment Tips:

  • Use a specialised toothpaste for sensitive teeth
  • Use a fluoride gel
  • Using a custom mouthguard
  • Brush lightly with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Floss gently
  • Visit your dentist

Recommended Food and Drinks

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yoghurt (plain)
  • Fruits and vegetables with high-fibre content


Receding Gums: Gums naturally shrink or recede as we age. People over forty usually experience tooth sensitivity at this age. As the gums recede, the roots get more exposed, causing the sensitivity. Sudden tooth pain is the most common sensation that you’d feel, especially with the consumption of hot or cold drinks. In other cases, even a breath of fresh air causes pain or discomfort. Here are the possible causes:

  • Age
  • Hormonal changes
  • Poor oral health
  • Congenital disability
  • Over rigorous brushing
  • TMJD or Bruxism
  • Crooked or misaligned teeth
  • Tongue or cheek piercing
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Periodontal disease*

*Dentists warn that periodontal disease is the complication of gum infection that causes the bacteria to damage the gums. In the worst cases, the infection may spread and lead to tooth loss.

Things to Avoid:

  • Hot and cold food and drinks
  • Hard foods
  • Sticky foods
  • Sugary food and drinks
  • Tobacco
  • Alcoholic drinks

Treatment Tips:

  • Observe the right way to brush your teeth
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcoholic drinks
  • Switch to a healthier diet
  • Always monitor changes in your mouth
  • Antibiotics
  • Root planing and open flap scaling
  • Soft tissue grafting
  • Visit your dentist regularly


Deteriorated Dental Filling: A deteriorated dental filling may also cause sudden tooth pain. When the filling falls off because of being old and worn, it leaves the teeth painful and sensitive. It also leaves the tooth vulnerable to bacterial infection because of the unfilled cavity. The roots get re-exposed, causing sudden pain when it comes to contact with food. Possible causes:

  • Natural deterioration
  • Accidentally biting hard food
  • Internal damage
  • Poor dental filling application

Things to Avoid:

  • Solid food within twenty-four hours following the dental filling procedure
  • Sticky food
  • Hard food
  • Chewing on the tooth where the dental filling is applied
  • Brushing too hard
  • Flossing

Treatment Tips:

  • Eat solid food after twenty-four hours after the procedure
  • Visit your dentist to re-apply the dental filling
  • Take over-the-counter painkillers
  • Brush lightly
  • Chew on the other side of the mouth
  • Do not floss near the tooth


Tooth Decay: Tooth decay can cause sudden tooth pain, especially if left undetected. There are cases where tooth decay is not visible, and the damage is below the teeth’ surface. In a case like this, you may experience sudden pain and discomfort until treated. The common causes are:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Cavity left untreated
  • Gum infection
  • Abscess build-up

Things to Avoid:

  • Sugary food
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Cold and hot drinks

Treatment Tips:

  • Brush the right way
  • Take OTC pain relievers
  • Cold compress
  • Visit your dentist ASAP


The Importance of Visiting the Dentist

Visiting your dentist is always the best solution for any oral health problems. The biggest contributing factor is their ability to prevent possible problems via early detection. They can tell if you are prone to developing oral problems. Dentists are capable of devising the best treatment plan that includes preventative measures. That is why we highly recommend visiting your dentist at least twice a year, or if you encounter sudden tooth pain or general discomfort.



The best way to keep your oral health on pristine condition is to practice the right oral hygiene method. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes is the initial step. Then, always make sure that you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized toothpaste. Clean the surface of your teeth thoroughly. Don’t forget to clean your tongue with a dental tongue cleaner, and floss once a day. You can also rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to strengthen the dental enamel, which protects your teeth from all kinds of oral problems.

It is ideal to have your teeth cleaned every six months by your dentist. They have a more efficient method at the clinic to clean your teeth than at home. Keep in mind that your oral health should be your top priority.

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