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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 Sault Ste. Marie dentists explain some possible reasons for your pain and what you can do until you get to the dentist.

Causes of Tooth & Gum Pain

Regardless of how bad the toothache hurts, you should always see a dentist as soon as possible to find the root of the problem. A strict oral hygiene regimen will typically stop toothaches or discomfort. However, there are numerous potential causes of tooth or gum pain, such as the following:

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. This is true whether you grind your teeth while you sleep and eventually wear them down, or whether you suffer an injury in a way that is more immediate, like while participating in sports. A filling, crown, or bonding may be suggested by your dentist as a course of treatment.

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

Wisdom Teeth

Because they put pressure on the teeth nearby or because of infection, impacted wisdom teeth frequently cause significant pain. If there isn't enough room for the wisdom teeth to erupt properly, impacted wisdom teeth can also cause crowding and tooth damage.

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.

There are times when the source of your tooth pain is not inside your mouth. Symptoms of a 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 could lead to serious complications. Most dental pain does not go away on its own and should be evaluated by your dentist.

Managing Your 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 tooth pain home remedies you can try. Reduce pain and inflammation by applying an ice pack or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. A saltwater rinse can also help to soothe and relieve tooth pain in some cases.

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

Providing Oral Health Care in Sault Ste. Marie

Our dental team at The Dental Office is committed to providing a range of dental services tailored to the needs of our patients. 


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