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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Answers

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If gum or tooth pain is making your life difficult, contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule your next appointment. Here our SITEWIDE][LOCATION] dentists explain some of the possible reasons for your pain and what you can do to tide you over before you get there.

What causes tooth pain & gum pain?

Whether toothache pain is severe or minor, you should always have a dentist diagnose its underlying cause as soon as you are able. In most instances, rigorous oral hygiene each day will prevent toothaches and discomfort. However, there are many potential factors that can cause tooth or gum pain. Some examples include:

Cavity/Tooth Decay

Though cavities often happen gradually, pain can occur suddenly. This should be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent an infection takes hold.

Grinding, Trauma or Injury

Whether you grind your teeth in your sleep and gradually wear them down, or you sustain an injury that impacts you in a much more sudden way while playing sports, a damaged or fractured tooth can be extremely painful. Whatever, you do, don't ignore it! You dentist may recommend repairing the tooth with a crown, bonding or a filling depending on its severity.

Grinding may also cause tooth sensitivity issues. Ask your dentist for tips on how to break this harmful habit.

Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth become impacted, they often become quite painful due to the pressure the 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 can lead to pockets of pus in your mouth too. This will not only create a painful sensitivity in your teeth, but may also develop into more serious conditions if not promptly treated.

Gum Disease

Gum disease (periodontal disease) can range from early stage (gingivitis) to moderate and severe. In the early stages, your dentist may treat your gingivitis 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

We should note that some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity, which doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious problem.

Using toothpaste designed for tooth sensitivity may also help. You should attempt to avoid eating extremely hot or cold food or drinks until this sensitivity goes away.

If you notice that ongoing sensitivity in your teeth is starting to emerge, this may be a cause for concern, since conditions like gum recession may be influencing its development. You should see your dentist as soon as possible.

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 worth it to schedule an appointment with your dentist 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 Helps Tooth Pain?

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

In the meantime, there are a few home remedies for tooth pain you can try. Apply an ice pack or taking 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 St. Thomas dentists to book an appointment today.


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