What Painful Teeth are Trying to Tell You

From a chronic niggle to a sudden throb, tooth can come in all shapes and sizes. It’s important to know that painful teeth and gums is not normal and is always a reason to book in an appointment with your dentist. Froom tooth decay to injury, gum disease to wisdom teeth, this guide should give you a starting point to understanding different types of toothache.

Sensitivity and gum disease

Sometimes, you might notice a sensation that’s not painful so much as it is sensitive. This might particularly be true when you have sugary foods, or anything overly hot or cold. Sensitivity can be coming from your teeth or your gums. Tooth sensitivity can be a sign of cavities or cracks, while gum sensitivity can be caused by over-brushing, receding gums or gingivitis.

Tooth decay

When plaque builds up on your teeth, bacteria has the opportunity to wreak havoc, wearing down your enamel and eat away at your teeth, leading to decay. This is why dentists recommend strong oral health habits: regular brushing and flossing, and a yearly tooth clean with your hygienist. Prevention and regular dental appointments are the best medicine: if decay gets out of hand, it can lead to serious tooth and health problems.


If you received a ball to the face, had a toddler jump into your jaw or injured yourself in any other way and are experiencing pain, it’s worth a visit to the dentist. Cracked or chipped teeth are very common and are best treated right away. If there’s excessive pain or bleeding, you should get it looked at straightaway either by a Tauranga dentist or at the emergency department, depending on severity.

Tooth grinding and jaw tensing

Stress leads many people to either grind their teeth or tense their jaw, without even realise it. These habits can lead to jaw pain, headaches and sensitive teeth. Once your dental team discovers the problem, we can fit you with a custom mouthguard that will protect your teeth while a physiotherapist can work with you to break the habit.

Wisdom teeth

Sometimes the molars at the back of your mouth, commonly called your wisdom teeth, don’t come up through the gums as they should leading to a condition known as impacted wisdom teeth. A dull ache at the back of your mouth with no other obvious sign can be caused by wisdom teeth, especially if you’re in your late teens or early twenties. This may require wisdom tooth removal.


People need braces and other orthodontic treatment for more reasons that simple cosmetics. If you have an overbite, underbite or other similar concerns with your smile, you may be feeling painful effects of a misaligned bite that can be fixed with orthodontics.

See your dentist today

Unfortunately, tooth pain rarely goes away on its own and is a sign of a problem that your dentist needs to remedy. If you’re experiencing any pain, book a dental appointment with Duncan Dental today at one of our two Tauranga locations.

June 11, 2021