A lot of things can cause tooth pain, one of the most common being tooth decay. The pain can occur in both the top and bottom teeth, But there are certain things that are more likely to make your bottom teeth hurt. Please keep reading to find out more.
What does it mean when your bottom teeth hurt?
Teeth can hurt for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the reasons that can make your bottom teeth hurt.
If you consciously or subconsciously grind or clench your teeth, it is called bruxism in medical terminology. This can damage your teeth and cause wearing down of the enamel, which can cause tooth pain, especially in the bottom teeth. The pain can be a dull ache or a sharp throbbing pain.
Talk to your dentist if grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw is a concern for you. They may prescribe a mouthguard to protect your teeth from the harmful effects of this habit.
Cavities or Tooth Decay
Tooth decay (cavities) can make bottom teeth hurt. Cavities form when bacteria in your mouth feed on sugary foods and make acid, which damages your tooth enamel. Over time, this can erode the tooth enamel to the point that it exposes the nerves inside your tooth. This can make your bottom teeth hurt if the cavities are in these teeth.
Tooth pain from cavities tends to be sharp and consistent in one tooth, worse when biting down, and can be accompanied by tooth sensitivity. Your dentist can fix this with a filling or a root canal treatment.
A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus from a bacterial infection in the tooth root. It develops from an untreated dental cavity or following a dental injury. Abscesses can cause a sharp throbbing pain. If the abscess is in one of your lower teeth, it can make your bottom teeth hurt. If you don’t get timely treatment for a tooth abscess, the infection can spread to the bone that supports your bottom teeth. Your dentist can treat the abscess with a root canal.
An infection or inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) or periodontitis (advanced gum disease) can cause teeth in the surrounding area to hurt. You may also have pus in the area, swelling, bleeding gums, and a bad taste in your mouth.
Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible if you have these symptoms in addition to bottom teeth hurting. Gum disease can cause not only oral problems but serious health issues in other parts of the body as well.
Cracked or Fractured Tooth
A crack or fracture in a bottom tooth can lead to severe pain and swelling of the gum in the area. This can happen due to trauma to the bottom teeth. You may also have other symptoms like sensitivity to hot and cold foods because the crack exposes the nerves in the tooth. Your dentist may recommend something like a root canal treatment and a crown for a cracked tooth. However, if the crack extends below the gum line, the tooth will need to be pulled.
If you have sensitive teeth, you may experience pain or discomfort in your bottom teeth. Sensitivity usually occurs due to wearing down of enamel from acidic foods or teeth grinding. Your dentist may recommend a desensitizing toothpaste to provide relief from your symptoms. For more severe symptoms, a dental crown can provide coverage of the remaining tooth structure.
Recent Teeth Whitening
If you recently had a tooth whitening treatment, it may be the cause why your bottom teeth hurt. Teeth whitening can make your teeth temporarily more porous. This effect goes away in a few days. Avoid overusing home kits for teeth whitening. A professional treatment is not only more effective, but also safer and less likely to cause tooth damage.
People who brush too hard can develop gum recession and pain in the teeth where the gums that normally cover the tooth roots have receded or shrunk. If your bottom teeth hurt and you also have sensitivity to hot and cold foods, this might be a possible cause. Your dentist may be able to place tooth-colored fillings in the areas that have worn away.
Other health issues
Sometimes, other health problems can make your bottom teeth hurt. For example, viral infections, sinus infections, cluster headaches, nerve disorders, diabetes, alcohol and drug abuse, or heart attacks can all cause tooth pain or jaw pain as a symptom. If your bottom teeth hurt and the pain is severe and unrelenting or accompanied by other symptoms, go to the nearest emergency room to be evaluated.
Why do my bottom teeth feel weird?
Some people get a weird sensation in their teeth when bacteria start to eat through the enamel. This happens when the bacteria attack the inside of the tooth where the nerves are located after the enamel wears down.
If you have a strange sensation or a tickling in your teeth or if your bottom teeth hurt, see your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner the problem is diagnosed and treated, the lower the chance of developing serious problems.
Can stress make your bottom teeth hurt?
Stress can make your bottom teeth hurt by causing you to grind your teeth or clench your jaw. It can lead to a painful condition called TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome. You should take steps to reduce stress, such as practicing deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. Also, eating soft foods and applying warm compresses may help to relieve your symptoms.
How do I stop my bottom teeth from hurting?
You should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible to find out the underlying reason why your bottom teeth hurt. In the meantime, the following home remedies for toothache might offer some relief:
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
- Apply a warm compress or cold compress to your lower jaw.
- Gently floss in the area of the toothache.
- Take an over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen.
- Try a home remedy such as clove oil to numb the area.
If your bottom teeth hurt, you should get in to see a dentist sooner rather than later. Express Dentist has a trusted network of dental professionals nationwide. Call us today and we’ll be happy to put you in touch with a dentist in your area.
About the author
Dr. Greg Grillo
Dr. Greg Grillo DDS studied at the University of Washington where he received a bachelors degree with Honors and later attended dental school on the same campus. Following school Dr. Greg served in the United States Navy as a dental officer. During this time he received advanced training in specialty areas of dentistry while also treating families of members of the military.
As well as sharing valuable information on dentistry and oral health, Dr. Greg remains a practicing dentist to this day. He works with families in the Okanogan Valley where he lives with his wife and three children.