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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Answers

Are you plagued by tooth and gum pain? Contact your dentist immediately to book an appointment. Today, our dentist in Burnaby shares some potential reasons for your pain and some ideas to keep it in check until you get to the dentist.

What's causing my tooth and gum pain?

Whether your toothache pain is minor more more severe, always see a dentist so the underlying cause can be diagnosed as soon as possible. A Rigorous oral hygiene routine will typically prevent discomfort or toothaches. However, tooth or gum pain can be caused by many potential factors, including:

Cavity/Tooth Decay

Pain can occur suddenly, even though cavities happen gradually. To prevent an infection from taking hold, this should be taken care of as soon as possible. 

Grinding, Trauma or Injury

Grinding your teeth in your sleep can gradually wear them down. You may also sustain a more immediate injury (for example, while playing sports). Either way, a damaged or fractured tooth can be very painful, so don't ignore it. Your dentist may recommend treating it with a filling, crown or bonding. 

Grinding can also lead to sensitivity issues. Ask your dentist for tips on how you can break this harmful habit.

Wisdom Teeth

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

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, or even life-threatening, condition.

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 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.

Other Potential Causes

Keep in mind that while some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity, this doesn't necessarily indicate a serious problem. 

It may help to use toothpaste specially made for sensitive teeth. Also try to avoid eating extremely cold or hot food and drinks until the sensitivity disappears. 

Have you noticed ongoing sensitivity (for more than a couple of days)? This may be cause for more serious concern such as gum recession. See your dentist. 

It's also possible that the issue causing your tooth pain lies outside your mouth. Vitamin deficiencies, colds, headaches, sinus or viral infections may cause symptoms similar to what you may feel with a toothache. 

That said, it's still worth it to book an appointment with your dentist as misdiagnosing the pain yourself or ignoring it can lead to serious issues. Most dental pain will not stop on its own and should be checked 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.

In the meantime, there are a few home remedies for tooth pain you can try. Apply an ice pack or taking 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 are experiencing toothaches or gum pain contact our Burnaby dentists to book an appointment today.

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