Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Answers

If pain in your teeth or gums are plaguing you, contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Here, our Lethbridge dentists explain some possible reasons for your pain and what you can do to help until you are able to see your dentist.

What causes tooth pain & gum pain?

Whether a toothache or pain is minor or severe, you should always have a dentist diagnose its underlying cause as soon as you are able. In many chases a rigorough oral hygiene routine will prevent discomfort like toothaches, but many possible factors may be causing you gum or tooth pain, including the following:

Cavity/Tooth Decay

While cavities will often occur gradually, the pain will onset suddenly. This should be addressed as soon as possible in order to prevent an infection form 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 bonding.

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 or unable to emerge properly through your gums, they can become quite painful due to pressure they place on the surrounding teeth and, in more serious cases, infection. Impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to secondary health issues like crowding and tooth damage if there isn't enough space for them in your smile.

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

Periodontal disease (also called gum disease) can range from gingivitis (what it is called in its earliest stages), to moderate and even severe. In gum disease's early stages, your dentist may treat this condition with a procedure called scaling and root plating. This is the process of removing plaque and treating tooth roots located below 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 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 notice 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 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 should always be to make an appointment with your dentist in order to diagnose and treat the issue.

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 Lethbridge dentists to book an appointment today.

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