Dental Pain: What are the causes?
Your first step when you experience tooth pain should be to call your dentist and set up an appointment. Your dentist will need to perform an examination in order to diagnose your concern before offering treatment options. In most cases, a rigorous oral hygiene routine will prevent toothaches or discomfort. However, there are a number of different factors behind dental pain including:
Decaying Teeth or Cavities
Though cavities often happen gradually, pain can occur suddenly. You will need to seek dental care as soon as possible in order to protect your oral health and prevent more serious concerns.
Serious Facial 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.
When you grind your teeth you are wearing down the enamel which can lead to an increase in sensitivity. You can speak with your dentist to learn about different options for managing this habit.
Erupting Wisdom Teeth
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 such as damage and overcrowding when the jaw doesn't have enough space to fit in with the teeth that are already present.
Infections Caused by an Abscessed Tooth
An abscessed tooth is a bacterial infection that 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 (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease has multiple stages which have different effects on your oral and overall health The early stage is referred to as gingivitis which affects the soft tissues. As this condition advances it becomes gum disease and can lead to bone and tooth loss. 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.
What are some other possible reasons for tooth pain?
Certain causes of dental discomfort such as sensitivity are not always caused by a major dental concern. If sensitivity is mild and only happens occasionally then it likely doesn't have a serious cause and can be managed using a number of products and considerations.
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.
However, this is not the case for instances where the sensitivity is present for an extended amount of time. This could indicate a serious complication such as gum recession.
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. Dental pain is not something that can fix itself and will always require intervention from a dental professional to help treat the underlying cause.
Is there anything I can do to relieve my hurting tooth?
The number one way to get rid of dental pain is to contact your dentist and seek dental treatment for the issue at hand.
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. You can also try swishing your mouth with warm salt water.