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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Answers

If you're plagued by tooth or gum pain, contact your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment. Today, our Toronto dentists list some potential reasons for your pain and what you can do until you're able to get to the dentist. 

What causes tooth pain & gum pain?

Whether your toothache pain is minor or severe, you should always see a dentist as soon as possible so the underlying cause can be diagnosed. In most cases, toothaches or discomfort can be prevented with a rigorous oral hygiene routine. However, many potential factors can cause tooth or gum pain, including the ones listed below. 

Cavity/Tooth Decay

While cavities often occur gradually, sudden pain can become a problem. These should be filled as soon as possible to prevent infection.

Grinding, Trauma or Injury

Whether you grind your teeth in your sleep and gradually wear them down, or a more immediate injury is your problem (for example, while playing sports you are hit with a ball), a damaged or fractured tooth can be very painful and is not to be ignored. Your dentist might recommend treating it with a filling, crown or bonding. 

Grinding can also cause issues with sensitive teeth. Ask your dentist for tips on how to break this harmful habit. 

Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth can often feel quite painful due to the pressure inflicted on the surrounding teeth, or infection. This issue can also lead to secondary problems including tooth crowding and damage if there isn't enough space for them to properly erupt. 

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 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 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 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 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 Toronto dentists to book an appointment today.

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