What is Causing My Tooth Pain?

A toothache is a sign that something is wrong and usually requires urgent attention.

For anyone who has experienced a toothache, we know just how painful it can be. A toothache is one of the reasons many people make an emergency trip to visit our Niskayuna, NY, family dentists Dr. Kent Molino and Dr. Todd Vaccaro. While you won’t be able to actually diagnose your toothache online, here are some things that could be causing your aching tooth,

Teeth Grinding

Let’s start with a more minor reason why you could be dealing with a toothache. If you are someone who grinds their teeth (a habit known as bruxism) this can cause teeth to flatten or can even increase their risk for chips, cracks and fractures. Over time, teeth grinding can wear away enamel which can cause tooth sensitivity and even pain. If your symptoms are accompanied by tired, aching jaws then you may be grinding your teeth at night and not even realize it.


Most people will have some degree of decay in their teeth as they get older. Decay will continue to travel deeper within the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth, which is usually when pain sets in. Anything that exposes the nerves of the tooth can lead to pain, and cavities are usually the most common cause of tooth pain that our Niskayuna, NY, dentists sees and treats on a regular basis.

Broken Tooth

If your tooth hurts after crunching down on something hard (like the pit of a date or a popcorn kernel) then you may have cracked or broken your teeth. While you may be able to notice a visible crack or chip in the tooth, this isn’t always the case. However, if your pain is made worse by biting or chewing, or your tooth is suddenly sensitive to hot or cold temperatures then you could have a dental injury.

Impacted Teeth

An impacted tooth is a tooth that doesn’t fully erupt through the gums. This most commonly occurs in wisdom teeth, the third and final set of molars. These teeth usually make their appearance during a person’s late teens or early twenties and can lead to pain, damage to surrounding teeth, infection and cavities. It’s important to consult with our family dentist to find out whether it’s time to have your wisdom teeth removed.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, our office is taking the necessary precautions to keep all patients living in and around Niskayuna, NY, safe. While we are temporarily closed for routine care, our dentists are still providing emergency dental treatment. For all dental emergencies please call Drs. Kent Molino and Todd Vaccaro at (518) 377-3628.

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