Why does my tooth hurt? 5 Possible Answers

If tooth or gum pain is plaguing you, contact your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment. In this post, our Dartmouth dentists explain some possible reasons for your pain and what you can do until you get to the dentist.

What causes tooth pain & gum pain?

You should always have a dentist identify the underlying cause of the toothache as soon as possible, regardless of how severe the pain is. Most of the time, toothaches and discomfort can be avoided with a strict oral hygiene regimen. The following are just a few of the many potential causes of tooth or gum pain:

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 at night and gradually wear them down, or you suffer an injury in a more immediate way, such as while playing sports, a fractured or damaged tooth can be excruciatingly painful - don't ignore it. A filling, crown, or bonding may be recommended by your dentist.

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 can be extremely painful due to the pressure they put on the surrounding teeth or infection. If there isn't enough space for wisdom teeth to erupt properly, they can cause tooth damage and crowding.

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 (periodontal disease) can be mild (gingivitis) or severe (periodontal disease). In the early stages of gingivitis, your dentist may treat it with a procedure called scaling and root planing, which involves 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 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.

A problem that is causing your tooth pain occasionally may not even be inside your mouth. A toothache-like set of symptoms can also be brought on by viral or sinus infections, vitamin deficiencies, headaches, or colds.

Although it may be tempting to ignore the pain or make a wrong diagnosis, it is still worthwhile to make an appointment with your dentist to avoid more serious complications. The majority of dental pain won't go away by itself, so your dentist should evaluate it.

What helps tooth 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.

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 Dartmouth dentists to book an appointment today.

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