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June 16, 2020

Why does my tooth hurt?

by Dr. Adam Koplon

So often, we get calls from patients telling us that they are experiencing tooth pain. Sometimes, it’s as obvious as they fell and hit their mouth, but more often than not, our dentists at Koplon Implant & Family Dentistry need to take a deeper look to determine what is causing the root of your discomfort and pain.

When our dental team assesses your situation, we ask questions such as:

  • Is your pain waking you up at night?
  • Are you experiencing hot and/or cold sensitivity?
  • Does it hurt when you bite?
  • How long has it been hurting?


While these are just some of the reasons you may be experience tooth pain and potential solutions, these are all reasons for you to come in and see the dentist. We can then develop a treatment plan specifically for you, as treatment is not a one size fits all approach.


  • Fracture: A crack in a tooth – large and noticeable or small and microscopic – can lead to intense pain. Our dental team can determine if the fracture is treatable, or if you may need a crown or dental implant to eliminate pain and infection.
  • Abscess: An infection that causes swelling and pain around the tooth is common. If an abscess is present then a root canal or extraction of the tooth may be needed. This is a serious infection and is needed to be treated right away before symptoms get worse. We can then determine the severity and next steps for your abscess.
  • Grinding teeth or clenching your jaw: People can grind their teeth in their sleep or clench their jaw during times of stress. Both cause unnecessary pressure and damage to the teeth, which causes pain. You may need a nightguard or retainer to prevent further pain and damage. Both could lead to broken teeth and further jaw pain if not treated.
  • Decay or cavity: When your tooth is decayed or you have a hole in your tooth where infection begins to spread, you will experience some tenderness and pain. We can treat cavities by sealing a filling over any open holes or performing a root canal to clean out infection and decay.
  • Infected or receding gums: Any changes to your gums, be it from infection or a receding gumline, will trigger sensitivity and pain. You may need to be seen for gingivitis treatment or further treatment to minimize further gum recession.
  • Trauma: If you experience trauma to your mouth (i.e.: a ball hits it, you fall and hit your tooth, etc.) you will likely experience pain and/or soreness.
  • Exposure to hot or cold: If you are experiencing sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks, you likely have erosion of your enamel – the tooth’s outer shell. Enamel does not grow back, but we can treat with veneers or sometimes by adding a crown.


Are you experiencing tooth pain? Let us determine the cause of that pain and get you on the road to recovery and comfort quickly. You can call us at 205-699-2551 to schedule an appointment to see one of our doctors.

About Adam Koplon, D.M.D.

Dr. Adam is a certified member of the American Dental Association (ADA), the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and the American Institute of Implant Dentistry (AIID).
Read Dr. Koplon's Full Bio
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