One of the most debilitating types of pain is a toothache, and it is often so severe that as if your whole body is in pain. You cannot focus on anything, eat, or even sleep properly. Any of your 32 teeth can cause the pain, but if you feel pain at the deep back of your mouth, your molars are to be blamed. If you are wondering and asking “Why do my back teeth hurt?“, it could be caused by many factors.
There are 12 molars in your mouth. Four of these (each at either side up and down) are hidden and are called wisdom tooth. These sometimes cause a lot of pain, but the remaining four molars on each side can be painful as well. These are flat and are used for grinding food, so pain in any of these means you cannot eat or have extreme trouble in chewing food.
Some possible symptoms of molar pain include gum swelling, hot and cold sensitivity in the back teeth, tooth discoloration, and loose teeth. That said, let’s look at the possible causes why your back teeth or molars are aching
Why Do My Back Teeth Hurt?
Normally, molar teeth ache because of the processes that affect other teeth. However, in some instances, the reasons could be different. You may be able to identify your symptoms and causes, but it is always best to consult a dentist, especially if the pain becomes unbearable.
1. Cavities or Tooth Decay
Being one of the most common dental problems, if your back teeth hurt, the most likely cause is tooth decay or cavities. Cavities can over time cause the enamel to break because the plaque contains bacteria that live on the sugar from the food you eat. It produces an acid that slowly consumes the enamel and eats away your tooth.
As the tooth decays, it can become sensitive to hot or cold food and often cause pain. This should not be too hard to find as you will clearly see your tooth partially gone.
An abscess is a buildup of pus inside the tissue of the tooth. This causes an excruciating pain as the bacteria spreads to the very root of the tooth. There might also be cases of swelling.
For this to be diagnosed, you will need to see a dentist and get an X-ray done. It should also not be left untreated as it can result in deaths if the bacteria or infection spread into your body.
3. Gum Infection
It may be that your gums are the culprit behind the pain in your back teeth. In the dental terminology, this is called periodontal disease. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in the USA, half of the population above 30 years of age has this dental problem.
Basically, bacteria in your gums cause the problem. The buildup becomes so significant that it creates pressure on the tooth. If you see a pimple-like growth above your teeth, this is probably the gum infection causing your back teeth to hurt as well. If you have it, better run to the dentist as fast as you can before the pain gets worse.
The tooth pulp or nerves inside the tooth can get inflamed or irritated causing pain. This can happen to any tooth in your mouth, but molars are perhaps more susceptible to this. This inflammation exerts pressure on the surrounding tissue, and as a result, the whole tooth aches.
Depending on the inflammation, the pain ranges from mild to severe, and this has to be treated by a professional. The pain will only get more severe if it is left untreated. In medical terms, this is called pulpitis.
5. Fractured Tooth
A cracked tooth can cause pain too especially when you’re eating or drinking. With pain, you may also feel temperature sensitivity. A crack in your tooth can happen because the tooth is weak, you might have bitten a hard object, or you might have had an acute injury.
The remedy of the problem depends on the crack itself. If the damage is too much to repair, then the dentist might have to remove the tooth.
6. Impacted Tooth
Impacted teeth are those that are prevented from being in their proper position. Most commonly it is the wisdom teeth since they are the last to come out.
When they do, they are not coming out in the right direction, so they push against other molars or the gum. This causes inflammation that results in a lot of pain. If your back teeth pain is because of an impacted wisdom tooth, the most likely cure is the removal of that wisdom tooth.
7. Sinus Infection
There is a chance that your back teeth hurt without any dental problem. If you have pain in your upper molars, a sinus infection could be a plausible cause since the congestion of the sinus can exert pressure on your upper jaw and teeth. You will commonly feel sensitivity and discomfort in your upper teeth.
When you treat your sinus and relive the congestion, the pain in the teeth will automatically be alleviated. If you do not feel relief even after the sinus infection is treated, it may be one of the above causes.
Pain in the back teeth can be very annoying as you cannot even be sure as to which one of them is actually causing the pain. When people ask why do my back teeth hurt, often, they are not even sure which tooth is hurting as this pain can spread quickly in the nearby teeth as well. Also, an infection in the molar can be highly infectious as it is situated at the back of the mouth, near the airways.
Even if the problem has been easily diagnosed, it is important to see a dentist. Painkillers may relieve the pain temporarily, but they will not fix the problem in the long run. It is best to nip the bud so that it does not result in the loss of a tooth.