Common Causes of Tooth & Gum Pain
While a rigorous oral hygiene routine can often prevent toothaches or discomfort from occurring, there are a number of factors that can cause you to experience tooth or gum pain.
Regardless of whether your toothache pain is minor or severe, it is essential to have a dentist diagnose its underlying cause as soon as possible. Some common causes of tooth and gum pain include:
A Cavity or Tooth Decay
Though cavities develop gradually the pain associated with tooth decay can occur suddenly. Cavities should be treated as soon as possible to help prevent an infection from developing.
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 your teeth can also result in tooth sensitivity issues. Ask your dentist for advice on how to break this harmful habit.
If your wisdom teeth become impacted, they may become quite painful due to the pressure they inflict on the surrounding teeth, or infection. Impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to secondary issues such as tooth damage and crowding if there isn’t enough space for them to erupt correctly.
Bacterial infections can lead to painful pus-filled pockets. Dental abscesses not only create painful sensitivity, but they can also develop into a more serious, or even life-threatening, condition.
Gum disease (periodontal disease) is called gingivitis in the early stages but can progress to be moderate or severe. If detected early, your dentist may treat your gingivitis with a procedure called scaling and root planing – the process of removing plaque buildup from the gum line.
If your gum disease is more severe you may need a root canal, antibiotics, and/or surgery to restore your oral health.
Other Potential Causes
We should note that in some cases people can experience temporary tooth sensitivity, which doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious problem.
Using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth may help to relieve your tooth sensitivity, but it might also be a good idea to avoid eating extremely hot or cold food and drinks until the sensitivity goes away.
Sensitivity that lasts for more than a couple of days may be cause for more serious concern, such as gum recession, and you should book an appointment to see your dentist.
There are also times when the issue that’s causing your tooth pain lies outside your mouth. Viral or sinus infections, vitamin deficiencies, headaches or colds may lead to symptoms that are similar to those 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, 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.