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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Answers

If tooth or gum pain is plaguing you, contact your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment. In this post, our Calgary 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?

Whether your toothache is minor or severe, you should always have it diagnosed by a dentist as soon as possible. In most cases, a strict oral hygiene regimen will keep toothaches and discomfort at bay. However, there are numerous potential causes of 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 from taking hold.

Grinding, Trauma or Injury

Whether you grind your teeth while sleeping and gradually wear them down, or you sustain an injury in a more immediate way, such as while playing sports, a fractured or damaged tooth can be excruciatingly painful. Don't ignore it. Your dentist may advise you to treat 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.

Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth become impacted, they can cause significant pain due to the pressure they put on the surrounding teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause 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 can be mild (gingivitis) or severe (periodontal disease). In the early stages of gingivitis, your dentist may treat it with a procedure called scaling and root planing, which involves 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.

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 concerns, such as gum recession, and you should see your dentist.

There are times when the source of your tooth pain may be found outside of your mouth. Symptoms similar to a toothache can be caused by viral or sinus infections, vitamin deficiencies, headaches, or colds.

However, it is still worthwhile to schedule an appointment with your dentist because ignoring or misdiagnosing the pain yourself may result in serious complications. Most dental pain will not go away on its own and should be evaluated 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, you can try a few home remedies for tooth pain. To relieve pain and inflammation, apply an ice pack or take an over-the-counter pain reliever. A saltwater rinse can also help soothe and relieve tooth pain in some cases.

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

From Our Team

  • At Arbour Lake Dental Care, we understand the constraints a busy schedule can place on our patients' availability for dental appointments. To better accommodate your schedule, we offer extended, flexible office hours.
    - Dr. Ian Miller

Your dental care in Calgary.

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