Why do my teeth hurt and not hurt...in waves?

Copy of correction 5 Mouth problems

Last updated on December 26, 2023

Dental pain is commonly referred to as unremitting pain. This is because most of the nerves in the teeth and tooth-supporting tissues are innervated by nerves that come directly from the brain and are more sensitive than pain in other parts of the body.Teeth may or may not hurt,Why is it that there are waves?

Types of causes of pain when you feel a toothache

Teeth hurt and stop hurting in waves.

Caused by the teeth themselves

The tooth structure consists of three layers from the outside: enamel, dentin, and pulp (tooth nerve). The enamel has no structure that conducts pain, but the dentin contains dentin tubules, which are thin canals that lead to the nerve. Therefore.When dentin is exposed by decay or tooth grinding, irritation can be transmitted from the dentin tubules to the pulp, causing pain.If inflammation reaches the nerve of the tooth, the possibility of further pain increases.                

Caused by tissues around teeth   

The tissue around the teeth is called periodontal tissue. Periodontal tissue includes cementum (the structure at the root of the tooth), alveolar bone (the bone that supports the tooth), gingiva, and periodontal ligament (the intervening membrane between the tooth and bone), and thisWhen periodontal tissue becomes inflamed,Because of the tissue that exists around the teeth, the teeth may feel sore.The most common type of inflammation of periodontal tissue is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth that release toxins that invade the periodontal tissue.

Caused by something other than teeth or tissues around teeth

Sometimes a toothache can be felt even if it is not caused by a tooth or gum tissue. For example, with a growth that forms in the mouth,The presence of benign or malignant tumors can irritate nerves in the teeth and periodontal tissue, causing painIn addition, the maxillary teeth are in close proximity to a part of the nasal cavity called the maxillary sinus.Inflammation of the maxillary sinus due to rhinitis or other causes may cause a toothache.

Examples of when a tooth may or may not hurt

Teeth hurt and stop hurting in waves.

Dental decay has progressed and affected the nerves.

As caries progresses, the cavity progresses from the enamel, through the dentin, and from the dentin to the pulp. Once the cavity reaches the dentin, because of the presence of dentin tubules, irritation is transmitted to the nerves and may cause repeated on and off pain. Theoretically, the closer the cavity is to the pulp, the more likely it is to cause pain. However, because tooth structure varies from person to person, pain may not occur even when the cavity is close to the pulp, or it may occur even when the cavity is not close to the pulp. The pain associated with the progression of tooth decay may disappear as the patient becomes accustomed to the pain.

If the nerve inflammation is too strong and the nerve has died

When nerve inflammation is strong, of course, pain often occurs, but when nerve inflammation is so strong that the nerve has died, the pain may suddenly disappear. When pain disappears, it is often mistakenly thought that the condition has improved, but it is better to think that the condition has worsened.If the pain suddenly disappears after severe tooth pain, the nerve has likely died.Therefore, it is recommended that the patient see a dentist immediately. After the nerve has died, further inflammation may cause pain again as the inflammation spreads to the periodontal tissue.

Gum disease or wisdom tooth inflammation.

Gum disease and wisdom tooth inflammation are caused by dirt in the mouth. When inflammation becomes severe, pain and swelling may occur, but if your immune system prevails, the pain and swelling may eventually disappear. If left untreated, the pain and swelling may return after a period of time.

Teeth grinding or bite problems.

When force is applied to a particular tooth site by clenching or biting, pain may occur and disappear repeatedly. This is due to the thickening and inflammation of the periodontal ligament as a result of stress on the periodontal ligament, which is part of the periodontal tissue. The thickening of the periodontal ligament often disappears over time, but in some cases it can lead to fracture of the tooth.

Stress and changes in physical condition alter pain sensitivity.

Stress can cause toothache in many ways.There are two ways in which the sympathetic nervous system is activated. First, when a person is stressed or in a physical state, the sympathetic nervous system in the body becomes dominant. This causes a decrease in the amount of saliva that would normally be produced in the mouth. Saliva plays a major role in keeping the mouth healthy.

For example, saliva contains lysozyme, an antibacterial substance that resists bacteria in the mouth, and IgA, which exerts an immune effect. When these are reduced, the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease increases by several orders of magnitude. Saliva also contains mucin, a substance that protects the mucous membranes of the mouth, and its reduction can cause dryness and tingling in the mouth. This can also increase the likelihood of teeth stinging.

The nerves themselves may become hypersensitive due to stress or changes in physical condition, causing pain to occur and disappear repeatedly, even in the absence of specific diseases such as tooth decay or periodontal disease. Dental nerves emanate from the brain. The brain is a collection of nerves, so when nerves become hypersensitive, they affect the brain and the nerves that exit from the brain first.

To avoid toothache in the first place.

Teeth hurt and stop hurting in waves.

What can I do to prevent my teeth from hurting in the first place? Is it enough if I attend the dentist's office regularly? Of course, regular visits to the dentist are important for early detection of tooth decay and gum disease,The most important thing is daily self-careIt is. Neglecting daily self-care can lead to dental problems, no matter how hard you work to regularly visit the dentist. To learn proper self-care,It is also important to look for a dentist who can suggest self-care that suits your needs and to be willing to ask questions of your own to the dentist or dental hygienist if you are unsure or have questions.


Dental pain is not only a pathological problem, but also has a significant impact on daily life. The resulting tooth pain can make it impossible to work or even eat properly. To avoid tooth pain, not only should you go to the dentist for regular checkups,Try to learn self-care that works for you.

imageWritten by dentist/issy

After graduating from the National School of Dentistry, he trained at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University Dental Hospital, and is currently working in general and orthodontic dentistry.

Member of the Japanese Society of Oral Implantology

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