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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Answers

If tooth or gum pain is plaguing you, contact your dentist right away to schedule an appointment. Today, our North York dentists discuss some possible causes of your pain and what you can do until you get to the dentist.

What is causing my tooth pain and gum pain?

Tooth and gum pain can often be prevented with the help of a rigorous oral hygiene routine.  But if you experience a toothache, whether it is minor or severe, it's important to have a dentist diagnose its underlying cause as soon as possible. Many potential factors can cause tooth or gum pain, including the following

Cavity/Tooth Decay

Cavities develop gradually, but pain often occurs suddenly. Tooth decay should be treated by your dentist as soon as possible to prevent an infection from taking hold.

Grinding, Trauma, or Injury

Whether you grind your teeth in your sleep and gradually wear them down, or you sustain an injury in some more immediate way, for instance, while playing sports, a fractured or damaged tooth can be very painful – don’t ignore it. Your dentist may recommend treating it with a filling, crown or dental bonding.

Teeth grinding may also cause tooth sensitivity issues. Speak to your dentist for tips on how to break this harmful habit.

Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth can become very painful due to the pressure they inflict on the surrounding teeth or infection. Impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to secondary issues including tooth damage and crowding if there isn’t enough space for them to erupt properly.

Abscessed Tooth

Bacterial infections may lead to pockets filled with pus. This not only creates painful sensitivity, but can also develop into a more serious, or even life-threatening, condition.

Gum Disease

Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) can range from gingivitis in the early stages to severe. If you are suffering from gingivitis your dentist may treat your gums and teeth with a procedure called scaling and root planing – the process of removing plaque buildup from the gum line.

For a more urgent case that’s progressed to severe gum disease, you may need a root canal, antibiotics, and/or surgery.

Other Potential Causes

While tooth and gum pain can be a sign of an underlying issue, it is also true that some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity, which doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious health problem.

Using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth may help. You should also attempt to avoid eating extremely hot or cold food and drinks until the sensitivity goes away.

If you experience ongoing sensitivity for more than a couple of days, this may be cause for more serious concern, such as gum recession, and you should see your dentist.

There are also times the issue that’s causing your tooth pain may lie outside your mouth. Viral or sinus infections, vitamin deficiencies, headaches or colds may cause symptoms similar to what you might feel with a toothache.

However, it’s still important to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a proper diagnosis as ignoring or misdiagnosing the pain yourself could lead to serious issues. Most dental pain won’t stop on its own and should be assessed by your dentist.

What can I do to help relieve my tooth and gum pain?

If you are wondering how to relieve tooth pain, the first and most obvious answer is to make an appointment with your dentist so that the issue can be diagnosed and treated before more serious issues develop.

In the meantime, there are a few home remedies for tooth pain you can try. Apply an ice pack or take an over-the-counter pain medication to reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, a saltwater rinse can also help soothe and relieve tooth pain.

If you are experiencing toothaches or gum pain, contact our North York dentists to book an appointment today.

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