Tooth Pain: Common Causes and How To Treat Them

Tooth Pain: Common Causes and How To Treat Them

May 18, 2023

Tooth pain can be a devastating experience for both adults and children. It can affect your ability to speak, eat, brush, or perform normal activities like working or reading. You should seek emergency dentistry in Brookline, MA if you or your loved one are experiencing severe or unbearable pain.

Understanding the cause of your tooth pain can help you manage the situation faster and regain your comfort. Let’s explore some of the most common causes of tooth pain and what you can do to manage them.

Causes of tooth pain and treatment options

Below are common toothache remedies for different causes of tooth pain:

  • Tooth decay

Dental caries or cavities are among the most common causes of tooth pain. It happens when the harmful bacteria in the mouth release harmful toxins that erode or eat away the teeth enamel, causing cavities. If not treated promptly, cavities get deeper over time, exposing the sensitive inner parts of the tooth like the dentin and pulp (which contains the tooth’s nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues). Based on the severity of the damage, this can lead to moderate to severe tooth sensitivity and pain. If left untreated, tooth decay or cavities can lead to tooth loss and bone loss.

What to do: if you think you might have decay, it’s important to see a dentist for treatment immediately. Delay treatment only allows the condition to develop further. Based on the stage of the cavity, the dentist can use dental fillings, root canals, dental crowns, and tooth extractions, among other treatments, to treat your tooth.

As you wait for professional dental care, you can take pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to minimize discomfort. Saltwater rinses or applying a cold compress on the cheek against the painful area can minimize pain and swelling.

  • Gum disease

Gum or periodontal disease is another common cause of tooth sensitivity and pain. Gum disease is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation in the gum tissue and can damage the underlying tissues that support teeth, like the alveolar bone. Gum disease can cause various symptoms, including red, swollen, receded, sensitive, or bleeding gums, bad breath, and loose, painful, or falling teeth.

What to do: Do you have these symptoms? It’s important to visit a dentist or periodontist near you as soon as possible for treatment. Possible treatments include deep cleaning, antibiotics, gum surgery, and bone grafts.

As you wait for professionals care, you can take pain medications like ibuprofen, try saltwater rinses, or apply a cold compress against the cheek to minimize discomfort and swelling.

  • Tooth abscess

Do you have a painful pimple or pocket of pus around a tooth? A tooth abscess is a serious infection caused by untreated tooth decay or gum disease. It can lead to severe pain, swelling, bad breath, and fever.

What to do: Since an abscess often indicates an infection, you should visit an emergency dentist near you. Urgent care is essential to remove and prevent infection from spreading to surrounding tissues. Among other treatments, the dentist can recommend treatments like surgery to remove the abscess, antibiotics, root canals, or tooth extraction. In the meantime, consider taking pain medication like ibuprofen to minimize the discomfort.

  • Sinus infection

Tooth pain in the upper back teeth does not always indicate a dental problem. Infected or inflamed sinuses can cause significant pressure in the upper back teeth roots, resulting in mild to severe pain.

What to do: You must visit our dentist near you if you suspect a sinus infection. Treatments can include antibiotics, decongestants, and pain relievers. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers pain medications like ibuprofen to minimize pain.

  • Bruxism

Also known as teeth grinding or clenching, chronic bruxism can cause severe tooth pain, sensitivity, and damage. It can also cause jaw, temporomandibular joints, and head pain.

What to do: You should see your dentist immediately if you have bruxism. They can create a custom night guard to reduce the impact of teeth grinding or clenching during sleep.

In the meantime, you can try exercises or therapies like jaw exercises, yoga, and meditation to relax your jaw muscles and reduce pain or discomfort.

  • Dental trauma

Dental injuries like chips, cracks, or breaks can expose your tooth’s inner sensitive tissues or nerves, causing mild to severe tooth pain or sensitivity to heat, cold, or sugar.

What to do: If you’ve hurt your tooth, are loose, or are knocked out, visit your dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will repair the damage to minimize discomfort and prevent new fractures or infections. Treatments include dental fillings, root canals, crowns, and tooth extraction. In the meantime, you can take pain medications like ibuprofen to alleviate discomfort.

How to identify the source of tooth pain

The best way to know the cause of your pain is to examine the area where your pain is radiating from. Check if your tooth has any physical damage, like chips, holes, stains, or cracks.

You may have a sinus infection if your pain is in the upper back teeth. Pain at the back of the mouth can also indicate that your wisdom tooth is erupting or impacted.

Learn more about pain relief for different types of tooth pain

Do you have more questions on dealing with common tooth pain causes? Or perhaps you need dental treatments for tooth pain? Contact and book a dentist appointment at Dental Partners of Brookline for more information.

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