Typically, toothache doesn’t affect the entire set of teeth; but is usually felt in and around one or several teeth. The affected tooth/teeth may be at the front, middle or back of the mouth. One area where some people may experience pain is in and around the front teeth. This front tooth pain is felt in many different ways, depending on the cause. But, whatever the cause, aching front teeth can cause severe discomfort and may even disrupt your lifestyle including the inability to eat, sleep and function normally.
Front Tooth Pain: Why Do My Front Teeth Ache?
1. You Are Experiencing Gum Recession
Naturally, you always want to get your front teeth glowing and sparkling. And to achieve this, you may find yourself brushing aggressively or by applying extra pressure on your toothbrush. But brushing too aggressively or applying too much pressure can be counterproductive, since it wears away at the tooth enamel and also causes the recession of the gums that usually cover the root structure of the tooth – leading to problems like extreme sensitivity and pain particularly when eating and drinking cold food items or beverages.
2. You’re Sensitive to Temperature
Tooth sensitivity to heat can sometimes be accompanied by pain and this may be the problem affecting your front teeth. It occurs when the protective structures that normally cover the tooth’s inner nerves become worn away or sustain damage. Damage to, or wearing down of, these structures can result from a variety of factors, ranging from overly aggressive brushing and/or flossing to abnormal tooth positioning.
If your pain or discomfort in and around front teeth occurs when – or immediately after – eating hot or cold food items, then sensitivity to temperature could be the ultimate cause of the problem and you need to address it.
3. You Have Experienced Tooth Trauma
Accidents do happen – to everyone, and when these accidents involve your mouth, they can cause cracked front tooth/teeth and pain on the affected teeth. The front teeth, especially those on the upper jaw, are more prone to traumatic injury. This is obviously because of their front position in the mouth, which often sees them act as the “first line of defense” when one receives a blow or bump to the mouth. Whether the force to the mouth is from being struck by the hockey stick or the ball or simply falling flat on your face, the groups of teeth that are more likely to be affected are those at the front. Tooth trauma may also result from chewing some types of hard foods.
When trauma affects teeth, its effects can last for years and you may feel pain as a result of an incident that happened many years ago. This pain and sensitivity from tooth trauma are usually felt when chewing food, an act that flexes and irritates the nerve endings within the front teeth.
4. You Have a Gum Infection
Gum infection around the front teeth or other groups of teeth can cause pain. It is caused by the proliferation of germs or bacteria (bad bacteria) in and around the front teeth and gum area. Once the infection progresses, it may cause the gums and the deeper periodontal structures to become inflamed. This inflammation is often characterized by pain and/or swelling as well as other unpleasant symptoms like a small pimple around the tooth or above the gum area, release of pus, and bad taste in the mouth.
5. You Clench or Grind Your Teeth While Asleep
Regular or habitual, persistent teeth grinding (bruxism) can cause front teeth pain and discomfort and may even wear down your front teeth. Sometimes, the involuntary excessive grinding, clenching and gnashing of teeth caused by this condition can result in fractured teeth leading to sensitivity and more pain. If you suffer from this condition, then this could be a possible cause of your front tooth pain.
6. You’ve Had Dental Work Done on the Front Teeth
If you’ve had dental work done on your front teeth, then this could be the source of your pain. Drillings or fillings often cause the affected teeth to become sensitive and this sensitivity may be felt when drinking cold beverages or when eating cold food. You might also feel a mild ache or discomfort.
7. You Have Dental Abscess
Dental abscess is a condition that occurs when there’s a bacteria buildup in the tooth and the underlying gum tissue. The bacterial build-up starts within the tooth pulp before percolating to the gum tissue through the root tips. If not addressed promptly, it causes severe infection that is characterized by inflammation of tissues and pain.
8. You Have Pulp Inflammation
If you have pulpitis in your front teeth, then it can cause you pain and discomfort. This condition affects the pulp, the central portion of the teeth, making it to become irritated and swollen. This, in turn, results in pressure build-up within the teeth; and the inflammation may spread to other tooth tissues and cause pain.
9. You Have Tooth Cavity
If your front teeth have been affected by severe tooth decay or cavities, then you’re more likely than not to feel pain. When tooth decay is left untreated, it usually advances to form cavities that reach the pulp. At this stage, nerves will be exposed, causing sensitivity and pain.
10. You Have a Cracked or Broken Tooth
Tooth breakage, cracks or fractures on your front teeth can lead to sensitivity and pain. These cracks are caused by a number of things, including trauma and conditions like bruxism. But, whatever the cause, cracked or broken front teeth can lead to pain and sensitivity when biting or chewing hot or cold foods and drinks as well as those sour and sweet items.
Ways To Ease Front Tooth Pain
Pain in the front teeth is not always severe. In fact, in most cases, front tooth pain and other forms of toothache are normally intermittent and you may feel it’s not worth scheduling a dentist appointment. However, waiting until the pain in your front teeth becomes worse is never a good idea. Whatever the severity of your front teeth ache, it is recommended that you ask your dentist to check your teeth. The causes of pain in and around the front teeth are not always clear, and a comprehensive diagnosis followed by professional treatment that conclusively addresses the problem is definitely the best cause of action.
But nonetheless, there some things you can do to relieve the pain and discomfort while you wait for your dentist appointment. One of these is taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, aspirin, or a topical ointment that contains benzocaine. Over-the-counter topical ointments for pain relief are applied directly on the affected front teeth and gums. Applying ice (cold compress) on the paining region may also help reduce swelling and pain.
However, sometimes leaving the painful front teeth alone may be all that is needed to deal with the problem. Pain resulting from dental work and trauma may go away on its own after a decent time interval. Just try to avoid using the painful front teeth in biting and chewing until the ache goes away.
If the pain doesn’t subside, you have no choice but see your dentist. Your dental professional will be able to assess your teeth and provide you with the most effective treatment to relieve pain once and for all.
What a doctor can do
If you have diabetes or heart disease your doctor will determine the best course of action for your condition as well as an appropriate treatment for symptoms like tooth pain.
There are several dental procedures that can address the underlying cause:
- If you have advanced periodontal disease, your dentist or a specialist known as a periodontist may do deep cleaning procedures designed to remove tartar and plaque from below the gumline. Other procedures, such as deep cleaning or dental surgery, may be required.
- Impacted teeth are typically removed by an oral surgeon.
- A tooth that is cracked or damaged may require a root canal if the nerve has died or been damaged beyond repair. Pulpitis and dental abscesses may also be treated this way. In some instances, a tooth extraction may be used to completely remove the tooth.
Q: My front teeth are starting to hurt when I chew some foods. Is it inevitable that I need caps?
A: In a word, no! It is possible to keep your natural teeth in good health and have them last the rest of your life if you do the right things. Basically, there are 3 main issues that will determine whether or not you need caps on your teeth. The first issue is how much damage has been done to them already, this can be due either to decay or trauma such as hitting the tooth with a baseball bat or getting hit in the mouth with a football helmet full force. The second issue is that of internal tooth structure, and the third issue is proper dental hygiene.
Damage to teeth can be hard to detect by looking at them in your mouth. The pulp (nerve) inside each tooth hates being exposed to the outside world (the mouth). Ask yourself how you would feel if someone pried open a hole in your roof and stuck their fingers all the way into your attic! If it was cold outside, or if there was no roof on your house, I bet you wouldn’t like that idea much either. These feelings are exactly what happen inside a tooth when decay gets deep enough to reach the nerve. Also, think about how you would feel if you had an ugly scab over an open wound that wouldn’t go away. Now imagine that the scab is on your tooth, right in the middle of your face! This is what people see when they look at you with exposed nerve inside a cavity-ridden tooth.
The second issue to consider is structural damage to teeth. Teeth are made up of enamel, dentin, and pulp (even when root canal treated). When decay reaches the center section called the dentin and gets deep enough it will cause pain no matter how much filling material you have put over it. The only way around this problem so far has been to remove all of the decay out through drilling which gives access for an artificial cap or crown to be put over the tooth, completely covering all inner surfaces both above and below the gumline. Of course, this is a major surgical procedure and not cheap or pain-free!
What can you do to make sure your natural teeth stay healthy and strong? The first thing is that you need to have regular exams, x-rays and cleanings with an excellent dentist who has experience in treating people without root canal treatment or surgery. Next, you need to have good home care. Floss daily (even many dentists neglect this important step!). Brush 2X’s per day with a toothpaste containing fluoride daily, as well as a high quality interdental cleaner (Waterpik works well). Also brush more often if you eat sticky, chewy sweets often such as caramel candy bars. Pay careful attention to the area where the inside of your upper front teeth come together, the contact point behind the last tooth. This is an area that often gets neglected by people and a place where decay can hide between the teeth until it grows deep enough to be very painful. The third step is to protect yourself from getting injured with major trauma or sports activities and doing what you can to avoid it happening in the first place!
Q: I have a lot of fillings (silver colored) that have broken off my teeth. What should I do?
A: Since the filling material is not bonded to your teeth and only sits on top of them, they will need to be replaced when they break down or fall out because they won’t keep looking good for long. The longer you ignore this situation, the worse it becomes as new fillings don’t look very attractive after a few years! If you wait too long and get embarrassed by food falling into the empty cavity behind your front tooth or feel pain from exposed dentin in multiple places, then oral surgery may need to be done in order to replace all the old fillings with removable crowns. These temporary caps are usually made of porcelain and are very strong, but still need to be replaced when they fail for various reasons over time.
The best way to avoid this problem is to keep your teeth looking great with good dental hygiene, regular dentist visits and a healthy diet so there is not enough decay that needs filling in the first place!
Q: What should I look at in my mouth when seeking out a new dentist?
A: The first thing you want to look for is obvious signs of cleanliness. Are the instruments being handled while talking to you being put into glass solution? Is the office area kept free from clutter or distraction? Are tissues disposed of without touching other items in wastebasket etc,.? Stay away from any dentist who uses dental x-rays without a lead smock to cover all body parts in the vicinity of where these very powerful ionizing radiation beams are being produced.
Why are my front teeth sensitive all of a sudden?
Why do my teeth hurt all of a sudden?
How do I get my teeth to stop aching?
Can one tooth make other teeth hurt?
Why is my front tooth aching?
Why do my front teeth feel weird?
Can your front teeth hurt from a sinus infection?
Why do my bottom front teeth hurt?
Tooth decay or a cavity is the most common reason for tooth pain. It can happen when bacteria “eat” through the hard enamel outer layer of a tooth. Bacteria are part of normal mouth and body health. However, too much sugar and other foods on your teeth can cause too many bad bacteria
Maintaining good dental habits is the best way to avoid many causes of front tooth pain. Brush and floss daily, but not too hard or with a brush with stiff bristles.
Front tooth pain has a wide range of causes. If your pain is constant or doesn’t resolve quickly, see a dentist or doctor. They can help you become pain free more quickly. Some causes of tooth pain are more serious than others. Seeing a professional is your best bet for determining the right fix.