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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Causes

It is important that you reach out to your dentist as soon as possible if you are experiencing dental discomfort. In this post, our Toronto dentists offer some potential causes for dental pain and what you can do if your tooth hurts.

The Common Causes of Tooth Pain

It is crucial to have a dentist examine your mouth at the first sign of discomfort. 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:

Decaying Teeth

Whether the pain comes on gradually or suddenly when a cavity, you should still consider these equally concerning. This should be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent an infection takes hold.

Grinding Habit 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, 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.

If you have a teeth-grinding habit then you may also experience some amount of sensitivity. Speak with your dentist for tips on how to break this harmful habit.

Wisdom Tooth Complications

When wisdom teeth become impacted, they often become quite painful due to the pressure they 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.

Infections Leading to Abscessed Teeth

When you suffer from an infection that leads to a dental abscess the result will be a pocket filled with pus on the inside of your mouth. This not only creates painful sensitivity, but can also develop into a more serious, or even life-threatening, condition.

Gingivitis or Late Stage Gum Disease

Gum disease (periodontal disease) can range from an 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 progressing to severe gum disease, you may need a root canal, antibiotics, and/or surgery.

Some of the Other Causes of Dental 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.

What to Do if Your Tooth Hurts

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.

While you wait to be seen by your dentist you can try some of the following for some relief. 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.

If you have any dental pain whatsoever, please contact our Toronto dentists to request an appointment today.

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