Why Do Molars Hurt?

These are some of the common causes of molar pain:

  • — A cavity is one of the most common causes of molar pain. Cavities are treated with dental fillings.

  • — A tooth abscess—An abscess is an infection that has reached the soft inside part of the tooth where nerves and blood vessels are. Abscesses usually require a root canal.

  • — An injured tooth—Accidents might lead to broken, cracked, or loose teeth. Small chips and cracks can be fixed with dental fillings, but large breaks might require a dental crown. Teeth that have been knocked slightly loose may or may not heal on their own.

  • — Gum disease—Infected gums, caused by poor oral hygiene and untreated tooth decay can lead to pain around the teeth.

  • — A loose tooth—If your child is around 9–12 years of age, they might be losing a baby molar, which could cause mild pain.

  • — Teeth grinding while sleeping. This usually goes away with age, but mention it to your dentist.

  • — Misaligned bite—If your child’s top and bottom teeth don’t fit together properly, this can cause pain in the teeth or jaws. Treatment usually includes orthodontics.

When should I see a dentist about molar pain?

If there is severe pain, or pain that lasts longer than a day or two, see your dentist right away. If the pain is accompanied by fever, chills, a bad taste in the mouth, or swelling in the face, see a dentist immediately, as the infection could become life-threatening.

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