You are currently viewing Why Do My Teeth Hurt?

 Medically Reviewed by Dr. Charles Dennis, DMD, on June 1, 2023

Why do my teeth hurt? Tooth pain is bothersome and can even prevent you from having a restful sleep or hinder your day-to-day activities. Review the table of contents and determine why your teeth might hurt. Contact your doctor or dentist if the problem persists or doesn’t go away.

why do my teeth hurt?
Table of Contents


You have sensitive teeth.

  • You drank coffee or alcohol.

Coffee and alcohol are high in acidity, which weakens tooth enamel over time. You may notice tooth pain or sensitive teeth. Avoid highly acidic drinks like coffee and alcohol, or brush your teeth after consumption.

  • You ate sugary or acidic foods.

Sugary foods and drinks cause a buildup of plaque on your teeth and can be acidic. Both can cause sensitivity, making your teeth hurt or even breaking down enamel over time. Make sure to brush your teeth after eating sugary or acidic foods like sweets and citrus.

  • You ate foods that were too hot or too cold.

Foods that are too hot or cold can trigger tooth pain by aggravating the nerves due to the natural erosion of enamel.

  • You just had your teeth whitened.

After teeth whitening, you may notice mild tooth pain or sensitivity. This should go away after the first few hours and may persist for a few days. Contact your dentist if it does not go away after a few days.

  • You’re brushing your teeth too hard.

Brushing your teeth too hard can harm the enamel and expose your gumline, making for teeth sensitivity.

  • You just had dental work done.

If you recently had a root canal, dental implant, crown, filling, or other dental work, you may experience tooth sensitivity. This should go away in the following days after your appointment.

  • You have gum disease

Is gingivitis or periodontal disease the reason for your toothache? Gingivitis is a common, mild form of gum disease that causes inflammation, irritation, and redness around your gums. If plaque builds up along your gumline, your gums can become infected.


You damaged your tooth.

You chipped your tooth or teeth.

Chipping your tooth can expose the dentin and nerves on your teeth, which are extremely sensitive to hot, cold, and sugary foods. After chipping your tooth, you may notice extreme sensitivity to eating or even some pain. Normally, a chipped tooth is not an emergency and can leave as is or be corrected by your dentist using bonding or a crown.

You experienced a sports injury or a blow to the mouth or jaw.

A sports injury to the mouth or jaw can cause an array of different types of tooth pain. Athletes may have a cracked tooth, fractured roots, or even a tooth intrusion. All of these may constitute an emergency dental appointment. Try wearing a mouth guard to prevent further injuries.


You have an infection.

You have a cavity or decaying tooth.

A cavity or tooth decay might not cause tooth pain until it’s too late. A toothache is a continuous pain that may even keep you awake at night or cause a sharp pain throughout your mouth and jaw. Cavities and decay can cause tenderness and sensitivity to eat and drinking hot/cold food. You should contact your dentist immediately if you believe you may have a cavity or a decaying tooth.


You grind your teeth.

Over time, grinding your teeth, or bruxism, can cause toothaches among other dental conditions. Excessive grinding can cause you to wear down your enamel or even cause misshapen teeth. These toothaches also contribute to jaw pain and TMJ disorder– chronic pain in your jaw joint.

Help! I’m unsure if I grind my teeth or not!

If you’re unsure if you grind your teeth, it’s best to consult a professional. Your dentist and dental hygiene specialist can help you determine if you’re grinding your teeth in your sleep by looking for key indicators.


You still have your wisdom teeth.

Whether you’re a child or an adult, your wisdom teeth can cause tooth pain when they push through your gums. If not brushed properly, food can get stuck under your gums and cause decay.


You have a sinus or ear infection.

Did you know that a sinus or ear infection can cause a toothache? It can!

You have a sinus infection

Sinusitis can easily cause a toothache due to the proximity of your sinuses to your teeth. When your sinuses are blocked, it’s easy for your sinus cavities to become inflamed. When you have inflammation and fluid in your sinuses, there is pressure that gets put on your teeth- especially your molars.

You have an ear infection

Due to the proximity of your ears to your mouth, an ear infection can cause tooth pain. If this problem persists, contact your doctor.


There’s a medical reason

Your mouth can signal problems with the rest of your body!

You have a medical condition

Below is a list of medical conditions that can give you a toothache:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Long-term kidney disease
  • Lung disease
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • HIV
  • Anemia

You’re on a medication

Certain medications can cause tooth pain. Below is a list of some of the medicines that may give you your toothache:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Antacids
  • Antibiotics
  • High Blood Pressure Medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Pain medications
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Chemotherapy drugs



In conclusion, there are many reasons why your teeth are hurting. It might be due to external or internal factors. Here is a summarized list of reasons you have a toothache:

Abington Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry is located in Clarks Summit, near Scranton, Pennsylvania. We offer various services, from family dentistry to emergency dental work. If you have a persistent toothache and need a checkup or, for more severe pain, an emergency dentist, contact our office today.

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