Possible 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
1. A Cavity or 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.
2. 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.
3. Wisdom Teeth
When wisdom teeth start to grow, they can become impacted due to minimal space in your mouth or other factors. This can cause pain as a result of the pressure that is applied to the surrounding teeth or infections that can develop. 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.
4. 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.
5. Gum Disease
Gum disease can range from early stage to moderate and severe. In the early stages, this is known as gingivitis, and your dentist may treat it 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, 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 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 looking for some ways to relieve your pain while you wait for your dental appointment there are a few home remedies that you can try. If these do not help, you might be experiencing a dental emergency so you should seek out immediate care.
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.