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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Answers

When you experience any type of dental pain you should speak to your dentist to request an examination. The sooner the issue is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated. Here, our Napanee dentists offer the causes of dental pain and what you can do to relieve the discomfort if your tooth is hurting while you wait to visit the dental office.

Dental Pain: Why does it happen?

The number one thing that you should do if you are experiencing tooth pain is to call your dentist and set up an evaluation. 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 5 main causes:

1. You Have Cavities

You may not realize right away when you develop a cavity. This is because the pain can sometimes begin gradually or once the cavity has become more serious. This should be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent an infection takes hold.

2. You Grind Your Teeth or Play Sports

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. Typically a crown, filling or bonding will be used in these situations to help protect your tooth and its soft inner pulp.

Grinding may also cause tooth sensitivity issues. Speak with your dentist about how you can help manage this habit and protect your teeth.

3. Your Wisdom Teeth Are Erupting

Wisdom teeth are notorious for causing issues including becoming impacted or infected when they begin erupting. 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. You Experience an Abscessed Tooth

When you suffer from a dental abscess you will have an infection in the form of a pocket of pus in your gums or within the affected tooth. This not only creates painful sensitivity, but can also develop into a more serious, or even life-threatening, condition.

5. You Develop Gum Disease

Gum disease (periodontal disease) can range from 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.

Some of the Other Potential Causes of Tooth Pain

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

Using toothpaste that contains ingredients to manage sensitivity is a good idea in these cases as well as avoiding any hot or cold foods or beverages.

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.

Some of the possible causes aren't even related to your dental health. 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.

The Ways That You Can Treat or Relieve Tooth Pain

The first step when you have dental pain is to contact your dentist and schedule an exam so the issue can be diagnosed and you can begin treatment as early as possible.

In the meantime, there are a few 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.

It is important to seek dental care right away if you experience any pain. Please contact our Napanee dentists to request an appointment today.

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