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5 reasons why your tooth might hurt

If tooth or gum pain is plaguing you, contact your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment. In this post, our Halifax dentists explain some possible reasons for your pain and what you can do until you get to the dentist.

What causes tooth pain & gum pain?

Regardless of the intensity of the toothache, it is essential to seek a dentist's diagnosis promptly to determine the underlying cause. In many instances, maintaining a thorough oral hygiene routine can help prevent toothaches and discomfort. However, various factors can contribute to tooth or gum pain, including 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

If you grind your teeth while sleeping, causing gradual wear or experience an immediate injury, such as during sports, a fractured or damaged tooth can be quite painful. It's important not to ignore this issue. Your dentist may suggest treatment options such as a filling, crown, or bonding to address the problem.

In addition, teeth grinding can lead to tooth sensitivity problems. You can ask your dentist for advice on how to break this harmful habit and manage tooth sensitivity.

Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth become impacted, they often become quite painful due to the pressure the inflict on the surrounding teeth, or infection. 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.

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, also known as periodontal disease, can vary in severity from early stage (gingivitis) to moderate and severe. In the early stages, your dentist may recommend a treatment called scaling and root planing, which involves removing plaque buildup from the gum line.

In more advanced cases of severe gum disease, more urgent measures may be necessary. This can include treatments like root canal therapy, antibiotics, and/or surgery to address the issue.

Other Potential Causes

We should note that some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity, which doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious problem.

Using toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth can be helpful in alleviating discomfort. Additionally, it is advisable to avoid consuming extremely hot or cold food and beverages until the sensitivity subsides.

If you experience prolonged sensitivity lasting more than a couple of days, it may indicate a more significant concern such as gum recession. In such cases, it is recommended to schedule an appointment with your dentist for further evaluation and appropriate treatment.

It's important to note that tooth pain can sometimes be caused by factors unrelated to the mouth. Viral or sinus infections, vitamin deficiencies, headaches, or colds can produce symptoms similar to those of a toothache.

However, it is still prudent to consult your dentist to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Ignoring or self-diagnosing the pain can potentially lead to more serious issues. Dental pain typically does not resolve on its own and should be assessed by a dental professional.

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, there are a few home remedies for tooth pain you can try. Apply an ice pack or taking 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.

If you are experiencing toothaches or gum pain contact our Halifax dentists to book an appointment today.

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