What is Causing My Tooth Pain?

Four common causes of a toothache

There is nothing worse than a toothache. It’s amazing how something so small can hurt so much! A toothache is a warning that something isn’t right, which is why it’s important to visit our Fairfax, VA, family dentist Dr. Stephen St. Louis right away if a toothache is happening to you or a family member. Wondering what could be causing you pain? It could be one of these problems:


Decay is the most common reason for a toothache. The pain may be dull and achy at first; however, if left untreated the pain can turn from a minor ache to a sharp, intense pain. Once this has happened, more than likely the decay has reached the inside of the tooth. Since decay cannot heal itself and will only continue to spread further into the tooth, it’s important to visit a dentist right away if you experience a toothache.

Gum disease 

If your toothache is accompanied by swollen, painful, red, and bleeding gums then it may not actually be the teeth that are the problem but the gums. You could have gum disease. This is another common dental problem that not only leads to jawbone and gum damage, but also tooth loss if left untreated. If you notice dental pain and sore, inflamed gums then you could be dealing with gum disease.

Fractured Tooth 

Even though teeth are incredibly strong, enamel can still be chipped, cracked or damaged. From eating crunchy, hard foods to sports-related injuries, there are many reasons you may be dealing with a fractured tooth. If you are in sudden, intense pain, particularly when eating or putting pressure on the tooth, then the tooth may be injured. Even a minor crack or chip in a tooth will continue to get worse over time, which is why you should get immediate dental care the minute you notice a dental injury.

Impacted wisdom teeth 

If you are in your teens or early twenties and you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in the back of your teeth, this could be due to impacted wisdom teeth. These third and final set of molars don’t often come in normally. They may push against other teeth, leave holes in the gum as a result of impaction and increase your risk for infection. If your wisdom teeth are bugging you it may be time to turn to our family dentistry office here in Fairfax to find out if it’s time to have these teeth removed.

Even though our Fairfax, VA, family dentistry practice is currently closed due to Covid-19, we are still providing emergency dental care to our patients. If you are dealing with discomfort, a toothache or signs of an infection please call us at (703) 385-7177 so we can schedule an immediate appointment.

Contact Us

Send Us an Email Today

Our Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-3:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-3:00 pm