Causes of Tooth & 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
A Cavity or Tooth Decay
Though cavities often happen gradually, pain can occur suddenly. This should be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent an infection takes hold.
Grinding, Trauma or Injury
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.
Grinding may also cause tooth sensitivity issues. Speak to your dentist for advice on how to break this harmful habit.
Wisdom Teeth Issues
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.
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 (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease - also called periodontal disease - can range from gingivitis at the earliest stage to severe periodontal disease. 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.
If gum disease reaches more severe stages, you may need a root canal, antibiotics, and/or surgery to treat the issue.
Other Potential Causes of Tooth & Gum Pain
At this point, it's important to acknowledge that some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity, which doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious problem.
Using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth may be helpful. You should also avoid eating or drinking anything that is extremely hot or cold 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.
Nonetheless, it’s it's important to schedule an appointment with your dentist since ignoring or misdiagnosing the pain yourself could lead to serious issues. Dental pain won’t typically stop on its own and should be assessed by your dentist.
How to Relieve Tooth Pain & Gum Pain
If you are wondering what you can do to relieve your 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 to the painful area or try taking an over-the-counter pain medication to reduce pain and inflammation. Many people find that a saltwater rinse can also help soothe and relieve tooth pain.