If tooth or gum pain is plaguing you, contact your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment. In this post, dentists from our five Downtown Toronto locations (King-York Dental, Richmond-Adelaide Dental, Brookfield Place Dental, College Park Dental and Bay Adelaide Dental) explain some possible reasons for your pain and what home remedies for tooth pain you can try until you get to the dentist.
What causes tooth pain & gum pain?
Whether minor or severe, you should always have a dentist diagnose toothache pain's underlying cause without delay. In most cases, good oral hygiene will prevent toothaches or discomfort. However, many factors can contribute to tooth or gum pain, including the following.
Though cavities often happen gradually, the onset of tooth pain can be sudden. To prevent infection, this should be addressed as soon as possible.
Grinding, Trauma or Injury
Whether you grind your teeth in your sleep and wear them down slowly, or you sustain an immediate injury, perhaps through playing sports, a fractured or damaged tooth can be very painful – don’t ignore it. Your dentist may recommend a filling, crown or bonding as treatment.
Grinding may also cause issues with tooth sensitivity. Ask your dentist for tips on putting a stop to this harmful habit.
When wisdom teeth become impacted, they often become painful due to infection or the pressure they exert on surrounding teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause secondary issues like 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 creates painful sensitivity and can also develop into a more serious, or potentially life-threatening, condition.
Gum disease (periodontal disease) can range from early stage (gingivitis) to moderate and severe. In the early stages, your dentist may use a procedure called scaling and root planing to treat your gingivitis – removing plaque buildup from the gum line.
For more urgent cases which become severe gum disease, you may need a root canal, antibiotics, and/or surgery.
Other Potential Causes
It is worth noting that some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity, which doesn’t always indicate a serious problem.
Using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth may help. You should also avoid eating extremely hot or cold food and drinks until the sensitivity is relieved.
It may be cause for more serious concern, such as gum recession, if you notice ongoing sensitivity for more than a couple of days and you should see your dentist.
Sometime the issue that’s causing your tooth pain may even be found outside your mouth. Viral or sinus infections, headaches, vitamin deficiencies or colds may cause symptoms similar to the feeling of 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 Helps Tooth Pain?
If you are wondering how to relieve tooth pain, the obvious first 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 worth trying. Applying an ice pack or taking an over-the-counter pain medication can reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, a saltwater rinse can help both soothe and relieve tooth pain.