Why Does My Tooth Hurt? 5 Possible Answers

Are you suffering from gum or tooth pain? Contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. In this post, our Burnaby dentists list some potential reasons for your pain and what you can do until you're able to see the dentist. 

What causes tooth pain & gum pain?

At some point in their lives, many people will experience toothache pain. Whether yours is mild or severe, the underlying cause should always be diagnosed by a dentist as soon as possible. Most often, toothaches and discomfort can be prevented by practicing rigorous oral hygiene. That said, gum or tooth pain can occur for many reasons, including:

Cavity/Tooth Decay

While cavities gradually become an issue, pain may appear suddenly. Have this taken care of as soon as possible to prevent infection from happening.  

Grinding, Trauma or Injury

Whether you have a habit of grinding your teeth in your sleep, they have gradually worn down or a more immediate injury occurs (for example, you are hit in the mouth while playing sports), a fractured or damaged tooth can be severely painful — don't ignore it. Your dentist may recommend having it treated with a filling, crown or bonding. 

Grinding can also cause issues with tooth sensitivity. Ask your dentist for advice about how to break this harmful habit. 

Wisdom Teeth

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.

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

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 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 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 suffering from toothaches or gum pain contact our Burnaby dentists to schedule an appointment today.

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Oakmount Dental
5266 Oakmount Crescent Burnaby BC V5H 4S1 CA

Phone Number

(604) 438-8238

Hours of Operation

  • Monday:12:00 pm - 08:00 pm
  • Tuesday:08:00 am - 05:00 pm
  • Wednesday:12:00 pm - 08:00 pm
  • Thursday:08:00 am - 05:00 pm
  • Friday:08:00 am - 04:00 pm
  • Saturday:Closed
  • Sunday:Closed

(604) 438-8238