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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Answers

In this post, our Kenora dentists explain some possible reasons for tooth pain. If you are experiencing tooth, gum, or jaw pain, contact your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment for a diagnosis and treatment plan. 

What causes tooth pain & gum 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:

Cavity/Tooth Decay

Though cavities often happen gradually the pain can occur suddenly. If you suspect a cavity you should book a dental appointment to have the cavity filled. If left untreated, cavities can lead to infection and further tooth decay.

Grinding, Trauma, or Injury

Grinding your teeth in your sleep can cause your teeth to gradually wear down and cause you pain. Teeth that are injured from traumatic impact can sustain damage that causes pain. Regardless of how your teeth become damaged, you should consult with a dentist for the appropriate treatment.  

Grinding may also cause tooth sensitivity issues. Ask your dentists if a night mouth guard is the right treatment option for your situation. 

Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth become impacted, they often become quite painful due to the pressure they inflict on the surrounding teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to secondary issues including tooth infection,  tooth damage, and crowding if there isn’t enough space for them to erupt properly.

Abscessed Tooth

Bacterial infections may lead to pockets filled with pus. This not only creates painful sensitivity but can also develop into a more serious condition and should be treated as soon as possible. 

Gum 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 gum therapy procedure called scaling and root planing – the process of removing plaque buildup from the gum line.

For a more urgent case that has progressed to severe gum disease, you may require oral 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), it may indicate a more serious issue and you should arrange to see your dentists for an examination.

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 Helps 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.

For some at-home relief before your dental appointment, you can try applying an ice-pack, taking over-the-counter pain medication, or rinsing your mouth with salt water to help soothe your sore tooth or gum.

If you are experiencing a toothache or gum pain contact our Kenora dentists to book an appointment today.

(807) 468-8966