The Potential Causes of Toothaches
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:
1. Developing 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.
2. 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. Ask your dentist for tips on how to break this harmful habit.
3. Wisdom Teeth Growing
If you have wisdom teeth that are growing in impacted, they will more often than not become painful. They will start to put pressure on the surrounding teeth, and they can also lead to secondary issues including tooth damage and crowding if there isn’t enough space for them to erupt properly.
4. Abscessed Tooth
If you have a bacterial infection, you may also develop pockets filled with pus. This is not only very painful, but it can also become more serious or even turn into a life-threatening, condition.
5. 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
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), 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.
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 looking for relief from your persistent tooth pain, the first thing you should do is contact your dentist and schedule an appointment so they can diagnose and treat the underlying issue.
While you are waiting for your appointment, there are a few things you can do at home. Try using an icepack or take an over-the-counter pain medication to reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, a saltwater rinse can also help soothe tooth pain.