Many forms of dental pain do not appear suddenly—they creep up on you. For example, you won't develop dental carriers overnight. The offending bacteria attack your teeth and cause damage over time. However, some dental problems do strike without warning. Below are some of the reasons your teeth might suddenly become painful.
Excessive forces on your tooth or surrounding tissues can trigger instantaneous pain. Your tooth might experience such excessive forces if:
- You fall and hit your mouth on something
- You chew on something hard, such as a piece of bone or ice
- You clench your teeth too much
- Someone hits you on the mouth
Such trauma can crack a tooth, destabilize the root of a tooth, or even break your teeth. In some cases, you might not see the damage with your naked eye, but only feel it if you expose the affected teeth to hot or cold things.
Failed dental restoration can also trigger instant pain. Such sudden pain is even more likely if your dentist had used the restoration to cover up a damaged tooth. A good example is if you crack your tooth and your dentist covers it up with a dental crown. You might develop sudden pain if something dislodges or knocks off the crown.
Dental bleaching is one of the most common methods of whitening teeth. Peroxide is the active ingredient in most dental bleaching products. The peroxide penetrates deep into the enamel to oxidize the discoloring agents. Unfortunately, the manner in which the peroxide opens up the enamel pores also opens up the enamel to other things. Your teeth might become extremely sensitive (to the point of being painful) after the bleaching treatment.
Most forms of treatments, including medical treatments, have minor side effects. Pain and discomfort are possible side effects of some dental treatments. For example, the dentist may need to remove some of a tooth's enamel while preparing it for crowning.
The preparation might cause some damage that could leave your tooth sore for a few days. In some cases, the pre-treatment preparation bruises nearby tissues. The bruising triggers pain and discomfort as your body alerts you that something is wrong. Luckily, such pain and discomfort usually go away by itself after a few days after your body heals.
You should take care of any dental pain you might have. However, sudden dental pain usually requires immediate care. Contact your family dentist if you have developed such pain.