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Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Answers

Dental pain is no fun for anyone and while this should go without saying, all dental discomfort should be examined by a dentist as soon as possible. In this post, our Ottawa dentists share some of the causes behind your tooth hurting and what you can do to relieve your dental pain while you wait for your appointment.

The Many Different Causes Behind Tooth Pain

Have you had ongoing dental pain? Maybe your tooth has just started hurting. Whatever the case you will need to see your dentist as soon as possible to determine the cause and have it treated. In most cases, a rigorous oral hygiene routine will prevent toothaches or discomfort. Here are some of the most commonly seen causes of tooth pain:

Cavities or Dental Decay

If you develop cavities you may not experience any pain until the condition is advanced and in need of serious repair. This should be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent an infection takes hold.

Grinding or Traumatic Injuries

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.

If you grind your teeth then you are more likely to experience serious intense sensitivity. Your dentist may be able to provide suggestions on what you can do to manage this habit.

Problematic Wisdom Teeth

One of the main concerns with wisdom teeth is that they may be impacted and create a large amount of pressure on the surrounding teeth. 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 & Dental Infections

Bacterial infections may lead to pockets filled with pus. While sensitivity is the most common effect of this condition it may also lead to serious, life-threatening infections. 

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)

Gum disease (periodontal disease) can range from early stage (gingivitis) to moderate and severe. In the early stages, your dentist may recommend root planing and scaling to remove a large amount of the bacteria built up along your gum line.

For a more urgent case that’s progressed to severe gum disease, you may need a root canal, antibiotics, and/or surgery.

There Are Many Other Causes Behind Tooth Pain

If you have tooth sensitivity then it is important to know that not all cases are concerning. Some patients experience occasional, mild sensitivity to hot or cold and this can be normal.

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.

You may also suffer form other health concerns that can create pain in your dental structure. 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.

Some Other Ways to Relieve Dental Discomfort

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 take 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.

Any type of dental pain should be evaluated by a dental professional. Please contact our Ottawa dentists to request an appointment today.

Looking for a dentist in Ottawa? Get in touch with our team at Kent Street Dental Centre today!

(613) 237-2677