What Causes Tooth Pain?

Tooth pain is one of the most common dental problems that patients can face. There can be many causes of toothaches or tooth pain, from a dental cavity to temporomandibular joint disorders. As your general dentist in Annapolis, MD, we can treat common dental problems like tooth pain and discomfort. If you suddenly experience a toothache or have chronic dental pain, please receive professional care. 

What Causes Tooth Pain?

What Causes Tooth Pain in Annapolis, MD

Tooth pain can sometimes seem a mystery unless you visit a dental professional. Many causes of toothaches or tooth pain can include: 

Acidic Foods and Drinks

Acids break down the tooth enamel, or the outer layer of the tooth, over time. If you regularly consume acidic foods and beverages, you can experience tooth pain or sensitivity from a small part of your enamel wearing away. Hydrating regularly, using toothpaste formulated with tooth sensitivity in mind, and visiting the dentist regularly can help prevent tooth wear. We may also recommend bonding or veneers as needed.

Dental Cavities

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems patients face and one of the most prevalent causes of tooth pain. Harmful bacteria feed on food debris left in the mouth. Over time, these bacteria break down the outer layer of the tooth, or the tooth enamel, creating holes called cavities. We often recommend a root canal treatment for patients with cavities to help preserve the tooth. During a root canal, we remove infected tissue from the tooth, clean the tooth chamber, and fill the tooth. 

Tooth Erosion

Dental erosion occurs when the outer tooth enamel wears away. GERD, acidic foods and beverages, and aggressive brushing can contribute to tooth erosion. When the tooth’s outer protective enamel wears away, it exposes the darker dentin underneath. Dental erosion can expose the tooth’s nerves and create pain and discomfort. Covering the tooth with a dental veneer, bonding material, or a dental crown will prevent further erosion and protect the tooth.


Also known as teeth clenching and grinding, bruxism often occurs when patients are stressed. Teeth clenching and grinding can occur during the day or at night due to temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). TMD occurs when pressure or stress on the joints creates pain and discomfort in the smile. Bruxism is a common symptom of TMD. Addressing TMD and bruxism with a nightguard can prevent further tooth wear or even chips or cracks in the teeth. 

Dental Injury

Broken restorations like crowns or fillings can also create pain. If you have a sudden emergency, including a broken tooth or restoration, please get in touch with our office, and we will provide you with a temporary restoration. We will then create a custom cosmetic or restorative treatment to restore your tooth or teeth.

Do you have unexplainable tooth pain? Call Dr. Vernon Sheen for treatment today at (443) 482-5202. You may also request a dental appointment with Annapolis dentist Dr. Sheen online. If you have any questions about your symptoms, please ask us; we will gladly help.