If gum or tooth pain is causing you serious discomfort, contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Here, our Markham dentists explain some of the possible reasons for your tooth pain and what you should do about it until you can see a dentist.
What causes tooth pain & gum pain?
Whether your toothache pain is minor or it is severe, you should always have your dentist diagnose its underlying cause as soon as you possibly can. In most instances, a good oral hygiene routine at home will prevent toothaches. However, there are a number of potential factors that may cause gum or tooth pain, including the following:
While cavities will often onset gradually, pain may begin quite suddenly. This should be addressed as soon as possible in order to prevent an infection from taking hold.
Grinding, Trauma or Injury
Whether you grind your teeth in your sleep and wear them down naturally or you sustain an injury in a more immediate way, a damaged tooth can be painful. The most important thing is that you don't ignore it. Your dentist may advise that you treat it with a crown, filling, or bonding procedure.
Grinding may also cause tooth sensitivity issues. Ask your dentist for tips on how to break this harmful habit.
When wisdom teeth become impacted, they will often cause serious pain from the pressure they place on the surrounding teeth or from infection. Impacted wisdom teeth may also cause a number of secondary health issues, including tooth damage and crowding if they don't have enough space to properly erupt.
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) 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 concerns, such as gum recession, and you should see your dentist.
There are also times when the issue that is causing your tooth to hurt may actually lie outside your mouth. Sinus or viral infections, vitamin deficiencies, headaches or colds may all cause similar symptoms to what you may feel as the result of 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 intervening time, there are a few at-home remedies for tooth pain that you may be able to try. Apply an ice pack or take over-the-counter medication to reduce inflammation or pain. In some cases, a saltwater rinse may help to soothe your discomfort or pain.