What Causes Tooth Pain & Gum Pain?
No matter how minor or severe your tooth pain is, you should have your dentist take a look at it so they can try to diagnose the underlying cause. Oftentimes, a good oral hygiene routine can be enough to prevent toothaches and pain. That being said, there are a number of things that can contribute to tooth and gum pain, including the following:
Cavities & 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 To Your Teeth
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 may also cause tooth sensitivity issues. Ask your dentist for tips on how to break this harmful habit.
Wisdom Teeth Growth
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.
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 & Gingivitis
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.
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 concern, such as gum recession, and you should see your dentist.
There are also times when the issue causing your tooth pain may not actually originate inside your mouth. 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.
How You Can Help Your 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.