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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Causes

You should contact your dentists as soon as you are experiencing any dental concerns or pain. In this post, our Ottawa dentists share some of the common causes of dental pain and when to seek care for a tooth that hurts.

The Factors Causing Toothaches & Pain

Whether the toothache pain is minor or severe, you should always have a dentist diagnose its underlying cause as soon as possible. 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

Tooth Decay & Resulting Cavities

Cavities will typically develop over an extended period of time but the pain associated may only appear suddenly. In order to prevent these oral health concerns from becoming more serious, you should contact your dentist as soon as you notice any pain.

Grinding, Trauma or Injuries

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, it can cause a great deal of pain if you seriously injure your tooth while playing sports. Your dental professional may recommend treating these concerns with crowns or fillings.

Grinding may also cause tooth sensitivity issues. Ask your dentist for tips on how to break this harmful habit.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth & Overcrowding

When a wisdom tooth becomes impacted it can also create issues for the teeth on either side of it. 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.  These teeth typically need to be extracted in order to treat the issue.

Abscessed Tooth & Infections

Oral pus-filled pockets are caused by a dental abscess. These abscesses are not only extremely sensitive, but can also develop into a more serious, or even life-threatening, condition.

Gum Disease (Periodontal 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.

The Other Factors Causing Tooth Pain

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 the issue that’s causing your tooth pain may lie outside 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.

Are there any options for relief from 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.

For any tooth pain or dental concerns please contact our Ottawa dentists to request a consultation.

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