What Does It Mean if Your Teeth Hurt Beneath the Gumline?

It's not uncommon for a person to have some pain in a tooth, especially if it's suffered an injury or is experiencing something like a cavity. However, it's rarer for the part of the tooth that's hidden under the gums to hurt. If you've had occasional or chronic pain in this region, here are the most likely culprits behind the discomfort.

Impacted Nerve

One common problem that can cause this is when a nerve becomes damaged. This is usually due to tooth decay forming under the surface of the gums. Although this won't happen to everyone, it becomes more common if you have poor oral hygiene or gum disease, as this can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth and let bacteria get under the surface.

The biggest problem here is that this part of the tooth lacks enamel, the protective hard surface that covers the exposed part of your teeth. Without enamel, the tooth has little to no defense against cavities, so bacteria can cause a lot of problems under the surface. Once a cavity forms, it can dig deep enough to start irritating or inflaming the nerve of the tooth, which can cause pain.

Gum Disease

Speaking of gum disease, this condition can cause problems for your teeth even if you aren't developing cavities under the surface. This is because gum disease creates a high level of inflammation in the gums. When inflammation develops, it can make you more sensitive to things like cold and heat, which can cause pain under the surface of your gums. In some cases, this may mean that your tooth is being affected by the inflammation, while in other cases, the gums themselves are what are actually hurting.

Abnormal Tooth Growth

While rare, it's not out of the question for dental problems to cause pain under the surface that is out of your control. For example, some people have teeth that emerge crookedly or even pointing in the wrong direction. When this happens, a tooth under the surface can start digging into its neighbor as it tries to move in, causing pain and potential damage to the established tooth.

While this is usually a problem for people who are still having their teeth grow in, like wisdom teeth, some people will develop a third set of teeth that will try to grow in and push out the second, adult set of teeth that you already have. For this reason, it's important to see local dentistry services to get dental X-rays.