Potential Causes of Tooth & 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 will prevent toothaches or discomfort. However, many potential factors can cause tooth or gum pain, including the following
Though cavities often happen gradually, pain can occur suddenly. To prevent infection, this issue needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.
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, for instance, 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.
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 an 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.
When wisdom teeth become impacted, they often become quite painful due to the pressure they inflict on the surrounding teeth. 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.
Other Possible Causes
We should note that some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity, which doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious problem.
Using toothpaste designed specifically for sensitive teeth may help. You should also try to refrain from eating extremely hot or cold food and drinks until the sensitivity subsides.
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 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.
Managing Your Tooth Pain
If you are looking for ways you can relieve your tooth pain, the first step is to make an appointment with your dentist to diagnose and treat the issue.
In the meantime, there are a few at-home remedies for tooth pain you can try. Apply an ice pack or take an over-the-counter pain medication to reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, a saltwater rinse can also help soothe and relieve tooth pain.