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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 Courtenay 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 is minor or severe, you should always see a dentist as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause. A good oral hygiene routine will usually keep toothaches and discomfort at bay. However, a variety of factors, including the ones listed below, can cause 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

A fractured or damaged tooth can be extremely painful; don't ignore it, whether you grind your teeth while you sleep and gradually wear them down, or you suffer an injury in a more immediate way, like while playing sports. Your dentist might advise using a filling, crown, or bonding to treat it.

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

Wisdom Teeth

Due to the pressure they put on the teeth around them or an infection, wisdom teeth that become impacted are frequently quite painful. If there isn't enough room for them to erupt properly, impacted wisdom teeth can also result in secondary problems like 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

Early stages (gingivitis) of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can progress to moderate and severe stages. When gingivitis is still in its early stages, your dentist might recommend a procedure called scaling and root planing, which involves removing plaque accumulation 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 times when the source of your tooth pain lies outside of your mouth. Symptoms similar to toothache can be caused by viral or sinus infections, vitamin deficiencies, headaches, or colds.

However, it is still worthwhile to schedule an appointment with your dentist because ignoring or misdiagnosing the pain yourself may result in serious complications. Most dental pain will not go away on its own and should be evaluated 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. To reduce pain and inflammation, apply an ice pack or take an over-the-counter pain reliever. In some cases, a saltwater rinse can also help to soothe and relieve tooth pain.

If you are experiencing toothaches or gum pain, contact our Courtenay dentists to book an appointment today.

Visit Driftwood Dental for a friendly & relaxed dental experience!

(250) 338-5381