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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Answers

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If you're experiencing tooth or gum pain the first thing you should do is contact your dentist to schedule an appointment. Today, our Thornhill 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?

Whether the toothache pain is minor or severe, you should always have a dentist diagnose its underlying cause as soon as possible. In most cases, a rigorous oral hygiene routine and regular dental cleanings will prevent toothaches or discomfort, however, many potential factors can cause tooth or gum pain, including:

Cavity/Tooth Decay

Though cavities often happen gradually, pain can occur suddenly. Cavities must be filled by a dentist to prevent infection and further tooth decay. 

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, such as 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, they often become quite painful. They can create pressure on the surrounding teeth and may lead to 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. These infections are not only painful but can also develop into a more serious, or even life-threatening, condition if steps aren't taken to control the infection. 

Gum Disease

Gum disease (periodontal disease) can range from early-stage gingivitis to moderate and severe periodontitis. 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 has 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), you should make an appointment with your dentist to ensure there is no underlying condition causing the sensitivity. 

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 take 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 Thornhill dentists to book an appointment today.

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