Common Causes of “Sore Teeth”

Sore teeth tend to be most evident when you’re biting down or chewing. Since your teeth are surrounded by a complex network of tiny ligaments — and a nerve runs down the root of each tooth — they’re highly delicate structures. Recognizing sore tooth symptoms can help you figure out what’s going on and the type of treatment required to correct it.

Allergies and Sinus Infections

If your upper teeth feel sore when you bite down, ask yourself if you’re experiencing any signs of sinus pressure. Since your nasal sinus linings rest close to the roots of some teeth, it can lead to “referred pain” that feels like a toothache but is actually due to some type of nasal infection or allergy.

Gum Disease

Your gums help to hold your teeth in place. If they’re infected, it can strain and destroy the tiny ligaments that connect your gum tissues and tooth. The inflammation ultimately leads to gum recession, deep “pockets” under the tissues, and tooth mobility. If you have sore gums or see bleeding when you floss, be sure to re-vamp your home hygiene routine and schedule a professional dental cleaning at our Phoenix office. Once those bone structures underneath are affected, there’s no getting them back.  

Abscessed Teeth

Any time the nerve of a tooth starts to abscess, it creates a bubble or cyst of fluid at the tip of the root. When you bite down or push on the tooth, it presses into the swollen area and can cause discomfort. It’s common for swelling and fluid to come and go along the gums, but the infection can’t resolve itself on its own.


A blow to the mouth can knock your tooth loose, even if it’s ever so slightly. Sometimes your tooth will need to be “splinted” to its neighbor until it can stabilize in place again. If your tooth feels loose after an injury, do not try to wiggle it further. We can help (and fit you with a mouthguard so that it doesn’t happen a second time!) 

Cracks or Decay

Cracked teeth tend to get fractures that “run” through them, like an old pair of stockings. As the crack continues, it becomes more difficult to control. Similarly, tooth decay can work its way deeper into a tooth. In either scenario the nerve will become involved. As you bite down on the tooth, some areas may give out quicker than others. Typically, you’ll feel the most pain when you’re eating or releasing pressure off the tooth. Dr. Behbahani can check your tooth to see if there’s an area starting to crack or develop new signs of decay. The earlier you get access to treatment, the better off your smile will be. 

Phoenix Toothache Relief

Central Valley Dentistry provides attentive, gentle dental care for all ages. If you have a sore tooth or recurring toothache, we encourage you to book an exam with Dr. Behbahani. We’ll be happy to answer any questions that you might have. Call today!

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