chesapeake va dentist for tmj tretamentWhen your teeth are hurting, the sooner you can find relief, the better. Feeling pain in your teeth should never be considered a normal occurrence and can indicate a condition that needs to be addressed. If your teeth hurt, it is always a good idea to schedule with your dentist as soon as possible. He or she can conduct a thorough dental examination and answer the urgent question you may have: Why do my teeth hurt?  The answers can vary, but Dr. John C. Cranham of Chesapeake, VA would like to explore with you a few of the most common ones.

Cavity Causing Tooth Pain

A cavity is simply a hole — hence the name — in the enamel of your tooth caused by decay due to bacteria. Bacteria feed on plaque that can cover our teeth if we don’t brush, floss and see the dentist regularly for professional cleanings. Cavities can cause sensitivity and pain in your teeth but if you catch them when they are still small, they are easily treated and your tooth can be saved.

Damaged or Lost Filling

Although fillings are made to be durable, they don’t last forever. Sometimes a filling can be damaged or even fall out all together, which will cause pain and issues with your bite. Dr. Cranham or your local dentist can determine what needs to be done to resolve the situation and alleviate the pain.

Teeth Grinding/Clenching/TMJ

If you wake up with a sore jaw, you may be clenching or grinding your teeth at night without even being aware of it. Dr. Cranham or your area dentist can offer solutions to help your prevent excessive wear and tear, as well as painful headaches, toothaches and jaw pain that come from teeth grinding.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscess is a severe infection that forms at the tooth’s roots, usually due to bacteria infiltrating the tooth due to a crack or chip in the enamel. They can be extremely painful and the infection must be treated with antibiotics by a dentist or doctor before the dentist attempts to resolve it with a restorative procedure. The infection can spread to other parts of your body — even your blood or brain — if not treated..

Wisdom Teeth Coming In

If wisdom teeth — also known as your third molars — begin to grow in too close to existing they can become “impacted”, meaning they may bump up against them, causing a great deal of pain, swelling, and jaw stiffness. An exam with an x-ray by Dr. Cranham or your area dentist can determine if the teeth are coming in properly or if they should be removed.


Injury can be caused by things such as contact sports or an auto accident. This kind of trauma can show itself with a “bruised” or deep discoloring of the tooth, a broken tooth, or a total loss of one or more teeth.

Temperature Sensitivity

When the dentin — the layer of enamel under the outer layer — is exposed due to cracks or the recession of the gums, your teeth may become more sensitive to either hot and/or cold temperatures.

Orthodontic Treatment

If you wear braces or use an orthodontic appliance, you are likely to experience degree of tooth pain when they are adjusted per the treatment plan. This IS normal and using an over-the-counter pain medicine, or if the issue is caused by the hardware itself, a little ball of dental wax should do the trick.

Teeth Whitening

Most patients will feel some discomfort after undergoing a professional teeth-whitening treatment, but the pain should fade within a day. Talk to Dr. Cranham or your area dentist if it is too intense.

Relieve Tooth Pain in Chesapeake, VA

No matter what the reason, Dr. Cranham knows tooth pain can be miserable, so quit asking, “Why do my teeth hurt?” and schedule an appointment online with him today, or call our scheduling specialist on 757.656.4109. Most dentists will open up their schedules as soon as they can to offer their faster relief from pain so don’t be afraid to ask.

Schedule Appointment Meet Chesapeake VA Dentist, Dr. John Cranham