Reasons Your Bottom Teeth Hurt (And When To See A Dentist)

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Medically reviewed by Danielle Romatz, RDH

Tooth pain can come in many forms and can sometimes seem to come and go. But when your bottom teeth are the only ones hurting, should you see a dentist?

The pain you are experiencing in your bottom teeth is most likely caused by a cavity or teeth grinding, although there are other causes. Either way, you should take action immediately to alleviate the pain with home remedies, and if that doesn’t work, make a plan to visit the dentist.

Want to investigate some other reasons your bottom teeth might hurt? Let’s look at a complete list of the causes of bottom teeth pain and some home remedies you can try to help you feel better.

What Causes Bottom Tooth Pain?

Woman Feeling Tooth Pain

There are several different causes of pain in your teeth, and there may be more than one reason that is causing your pain. Below is a deeper look at the leading causes of bottom teeth pain. 

Untreated Cavity

Whenever there is pain in your mouth, you should consider the possibility that it is a cavity. Cavity pain is typically sharp and can come on quickly. You may additionally notice pain when eating hot or cold items. 

Grinding Your Teeth

Teeth grinding or clenching usually happens when you are asleep and is a condition where you wear your teeth down by grinding them together. Teeth grinding pain is less sharp than cavity pain, a dull ache across the teeth or jaw, but may last all day.

Lack of Enamel

If your bottom tooth pain comes around specifically when consuming hot or cold items, you may have worn away the enamel on your teeth. This short-lived pain won’t be as severe or debilitating as cavity pain.

Enamel erosion can come from age, misaligned teeth and bite, high acidic or sugar diet, and clenching/grinding, which could result in recession and root exposure. Seeing your dentist regularly will allow them to diagnose when these areas need attention or treatment.

Jaw Injury

If the pain is localized to your bottom mandible, it could be caused by a jaw injury or disorder like TMJ. For example, if you have recently been punched in the mouth, your bottom teeth are expected to hurt.

As long as the pain dissipates after a day or two, you don’t have to panic about something being wrong. But if pain persists, your bite feels off, or any teeth feel loose, consult your dentist immediately.

How to Tell if You’re Grinding Your Teeth at Night

It can be challenging to tell when you are grinding your teeth because, well, you’re asleep. But, if you think your bottom teeth hurt because you are teeth grinding, it is time to start by paying attention during the day.

While you are working during the day, check the position of your jaw. For example, if you constantly clench your jaw, you may do the same as you sleep. You will also notice an achy pain in your jaw or a headache that never seems to disappear. It will likely bother you all day long.

Signs it Could Be a Cavity

Unlike teeth grinding, toothache pain will be sharp, come on suddenly, and you will find no relief from at-home remedies. You will also have sensitivities while eating hot or cold items.

With a cavity, you may or may not experience pain whenever you bite into something with the tooth. If so, the pain will last beyond the bite, however, and may prevent you from sleeping at night.

Remedies to Try at Home

Before you rush off to see the dentist, there are a few home remedies you can try first. 

Wearing a Nightguard

If you suspect you are grinding your teeth at night, have your dentist make you a nightguard. These are plastic retainers you will wear at night to prevent your teeth from grinding. Once you have your night guard, ensure you wear them every night for the best results. 


Like any other injury, you can ice your bottom teeth to try and alleviate the pain. For pain more in the jaw, take a bag of ice, wrap it on a towel, and place it on the exterior of your face.

Pain Killers

Pharmacist helping man with tooth ache in drugstore

If you are in immense pain, an over-the-counter painkiller like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen can help temporarily relieve your pain. Ensure you read all dosage warnings before taking either of these medicines.

When to See a Dentist

While it is recommended to try at-home remedies before heading to a dentist, if you try the at-home remedies for 2-3 days and the pain doesn’t dissipate, it is time to make an appointment with a dentist.

Additionally, if the pain in your mouth is sharp and causing you to lose sleep or not be able to eat, you should contact a dentist immediately, as you may have a cavity, infection, or abscess that could get worse if not treated. 

Final Thoughts on Reasons Your Bottom Teeth Hurt

Overall, there are several reasons your bottom teeth may be bothering you. Whether you have a potential cavity or are grinding your teeth, don’t ignore the pain you have in your mouth.

Try a home remedy or two, but if the pain doesn’t go away or worsens, it is time to make an appointment with your dentist.

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