If you are experiencing tooth or gum pain, contact your dentist right away to schedule an appointment. Our Scarborough dentists explain some possible causes of your pain and what you can do until you get to the dentist in this post.
What causes tooth pain & gum pain?
Whether your toothache is minor or severe, you should always have it diagnosed by a dentist as soon as possible. In most cases, a strict oral hygiene regimen will keep toothaches and discomfort at bay. However, there are numerous potential causes of tooth or gum pain, including the following.
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
Whether you grind your teeth while sleeping and gradually wear them down, or you sustain an injury in a more immediate way, such as while playing sports, a fractured or damaged tooth can be excruciatingly painful – don't ignore it. Your dentist may advise you to treat 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.
When wisdom teeth become impacted, they can cause significant pain due to the pressure they put on the surrounding teeth or infection. Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause tooth damage and crowding if there isn't enough space for them to erupt properly.
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 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 concerns, 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, you can try a few home remedies for tooth pain. To relieve pain and inflammation, apply an ice pack or take an over-the-counter pain reliever. A saltwater rinse can also help soothe and relieve tooth pain in some cases.