If you're suffering from tooth or gum pain, don't wait to contact your dentist to schedule an appointment. In this post, our Mississauga dentists discuss some possible reasons for your pain and what you can do until you get to the dentist.
What causes tooth & gum pain?
You should always have a dentist diagnose a toothache as soon as possible, regardless of the severity of the pain. In most cases, a rigorous oral hygiene routine will prevent toothaches or discomfort. There are, however, many potential factors that can cause tooth or gum pain, including the following:
Though cavities often happen gradually over a period of time, the onset of pain can be sudden. This should be treated as soon as possible to prevent an infection from taking hold.
Grinding, Trauma or Injury
Whether you grind your teeth in your sleep or due to stress and gradually wear them down, or you sustain an injury through trauma such as a sports-related accident, 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 increased tooth sensitivity. Ask your dentist for tips on how to break this harmful habit.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When wisdom teeth become erupt at an angle that crowds them against the surrounding teeth, they often become quite painful due to the pressure or an 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.
Bacterial infections may lead to pus-filled pockets called abscesses. This not only creates painful sensitivity, but can also develop into a more serious, or even life-threatening, condition.
Gum disease (periodontal disease) can range from early-stage (gingivitis) to moderate and severe. Your dentist may be able to treat gingivitis with a procedure called scaling and root planing, which is the process of removing plaque buildup from the gum line.
For more urgent cases that have progressed to severe gum disease, your treatment may include a root canal, antibiotics, and/or surgery.
Additional Potential Causes
We should note that some people experience short-term or temporary tooth sensitivity, which doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a serious underlying issue.
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 longer than a few days), this may be cause for a more serious concern such as gum recession and you should see your dentist.
Tooth pain may be caused by issues outside your mouth, such as viral or sinus infections, vitamin deficiencies, headaches or cold symptoms that can be similar to what you might feel with a toothache.
To be on the safe side, it is recommended to make an appointment with your dentist. Ignoring or incorrectly self-diagnosing the pain 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 step 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 to help ease tooth pain that you can try. Apply an ice pack or take over-the-counter pain medication to reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, a saltwater rinse can also help soothe and relieve tooth pain.