Tooth pain can come and go for a variety of reasons. Here are some possible explanations:
- Tooth sensitivity: If you experience tooth pain that comes and goes, it may be due to tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the layer of enamel that protects the teeth becomes thin or damaged, exposing the dentin underneath. Dentin is a softer, more sensitive layer of the tooth that contains tiny tubes that lead to the nerve of the tooth. When the dentin is exposed to hot, cold, or acidic substances, it can cause the nerve to become stimulated, resulting in pain. Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a variety of factors, including gum recession, tooth grinding, or using a toothpaste or mouthwash that is too abrasive.
- Cavities: Cavities, also known as dental caries, are small holes that form in the teeth as a result of bacterial decay. Cavities can cause tooth pain that comes and goes, especially when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages. The pain may be more intense when the cavity is close to the nerve of the tooth.
- Gum disease: Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that can cause tooth pain. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can cause the gums to become inflamed and swollen, leading to tooth pain. The pain may be more severe when the infection is close to the root of the tooth.
- Abscessed tooth: An abscessed tooth is a serious dental condition that occurs when a tooth becomes infected and a pocket of pus forms at the base of the tooth. Abscessed teeth can cause severe tooth pain that comes and goes, especially when the infection is close to the nerve of the tooth. The pain may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, swelling of the face or neck, and difficulty swallowing.
- Impacted wisdom teeth: Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the mouth, typically appearing in the late teenage years or early twenties. If wisdom teeth do not have enough room to emerge from the gums, they can become impacted, meaning they are stuck and cannot fully emerge from the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause tooth pain that comes and goes, especially when the teeth are pressing against the surrounding teeth or attempting to emerge from the gums.
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ): The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. TMJ disorder is a condition that affects the function of this joint, causing pain and discomfort. TMJ disorder can cause tooth pain that comes and goes, especially when chewing or speaking.
In conclusion, tooth pain that comes and goes can be caused by a variety of factors, including tooth sensitivity, cavities, gum disease, abscessed teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, and TMJ disorder. If you are experiencing tooth pain that comes and goes, it is important to see a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.