Potential Causes of Tooth Pain & When to Seek Emergency Care

Published March 26, 2023

As uncomfortable and painful as toothaches can be, they happen to most people at some point in their lives. While toothaches are rather common and might not seem like a big deal, they can be indicative of more severe underlying dental problems.

In this article, we’ll discuss the potential causes of tooth pain and when to seek emergency dental care.

Why Do My Teeth Hurt?

Before digging in, let’s first answer the big question: why do your teeth hurt?

Tooth pain can be caused by a variety of things, including cavities, cracked or broken teeth, and even gum disease. Tooth pain can also be a result of an infected tooth pulp or nerve, which requires urgent medical attention.

What Are Common Causes of Tooth Pain?

The following are several potential causes of tooth pain that should not be ignored and require emergency dental care:

Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is a severe infection that happens from damage to the tooth or gum tissues. It’s usually marked by fever, swelling, a bad taste in your mouth, and severe tooth pain. Usually, abscessed teeth are treated by endodontic therapy and antibiotics to alleviate pain and avoid any additional infection and damage to other teeth or gum tissue.

Cracked or Broken Tooth

A cracked or broken tooth can cause severe pain and sensitivity, particularly when biting or chewing. Although it’s often the visible chip that creates the pain, what may be of greater concern is the underlying enamel and pulp damage that may take place after the incident. In such instances, it is best to look for professional dental treatment as soon as possible.

Tooth Injury or Trauma

Tooth injuries or trauma include injuries such as teeth fractures and cracks caused by blow to the mouth or face. Not only do they cause severe pain, but they can also lead to other detrimental dental issues. If left untreated, cracked teeth can expose the inner pulp to bacteria, leading to further damage.

Lost or Broken Fillings

Lost or broken fillings can cause tooth pain by exposing the inner portion of the tooth that was once protected by the filling. This can lead to sensitivity and discomfort, particularly when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages. Without the protective covering of the filling, the tooth can be more susceptible to decay and bacteria, leading to more severe dental issues that can cause intense pain.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that begin emerging in early adulthood. The emergence of wisdom teeth warrants a dental visit if they cause pain, infection or if they cause issues with the surrounding teeth. Learn more about our emergency wisdom tooth removal services at our clinic.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding can cause tooth pain by wearing down the tooth enamel, which can expose the sensitive dentin beneath it. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and pain, particularly when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks. In severe cases, it could even cause tooth fractures or chipping, which can cause significant discomfort. Additionally, bruxism can put pressure on the jaw joint, which can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw, neck, and face. Ultimately, prolonged teeth grinding can lead to more serious dental complications and long-term oral health issues if left untreated.

What Helps With Tooth Pain?

Oral over-the-counter pain medicine or topical pain medicines, a cold compress to the cheek, or rinsing with saltwater may help with mild tooth pain, but that doesn’t replace professional dental treatment.

What to Do for a Toothache?

If you are experiencing a sudden and severe toothache that lasts for more than a day or two, it’s best to consult or visit immediately with a professional dentist. It’s crucial to seek professional medical help because ignoring the pain or delaying treatment can lead to severe, irreversible dental complications and more significant damage to your overall health.

Toothache Treatment at our Winnipeg Emergency Dentist

If you’re experiencing a toothache and need immediate relief, our Winnipeg Emergency Dental clinic is available with same-day appointments for a range of dental treatments.

In the end, the best course of action to protect toothache-induced discomfort and prevent severe complications is to schedule a dental appointment if you experience any sudden pain or sensitivity.

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