Painful gums can be caused by various causes; some issues can be addressed at home while others require seeing a dentist.
Tooth sensitivity may be caused by worn enamel, as well as after receiving bleaching treatment or having dental restorations such as crowns or fillings installed, broken teeth or cracked fillings that leak fluids leaking out from them.
Damage to the Tooth
Tooth damage is one of the leading causes of toothache. It could stem from cavities or cracks allowing bacteria into the pulp chamber of a tooth, leading to infection that leads to pus buildup and further increases discomfort – potentially even leading to its loss.
Tooth decay, caused when bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acid, is another leading cause of tooth pain. The acid breaks down mineral content found within teeth, leading to enamel erosion and cavities.
Other dental issues that may cause pain include broken or damaged fillings or crowns, cracked teeth or gum disease. A dull ache could indicate infection at the root while sharp throbbing pain can indicate exposed nerves from fractures or that fillings or crowns require replacing; additionally sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures could indicate that tooth pulp irritation.
Immediately rinse your tooth in warm water to clear away food debris and place it back into its socket (if possible). Use gauze or cotton balls to hold it securely while biting gently down on it for maximum support. Until your dentist can see you, take an acetaminophen or ibuprofen dose for pain management and inflammation control until then.
Gum disease, beginning as mild inflammation such as gingivitis, can progress into serious damage to bone and tissue that supports teeth. Common symptoms of gum disease are bleeding when brushing, swollen gums and sensitive teeth; left untreated it can destroy roots of teeth leading to their loss and tooth extraction.
Periodontal abscesses, commonly referred to as gum abscesses, are symptoms of gum disease and require treatment with antibiotics or draining of pus. Gum disease may also cause gums to recede and expose nerve endings causing teeth to feel more sensitive than usual.
Gum disease treatment requires daily tooth brushing, flossing and visiting a dentist or dental hygienist at least twice annually for cleanings. Diet and lifestyle choices may also play a part in preventing gum disease; cutting back on sugary snacks like candy bars helps control bacteria that cause gum disease; while eating well-balanced meals full of vitamin C and E helps strengthen immunity against infections; also try not clenching/grinding your teeth to avoid placing extra stress on supporting tissues that could hasten their breakdown.
Sinusitis can lead to toothache as the roots of your upper rear teeth are situated close to your sinus cavities. As bacteria builds up in these sinuses, swelling occurs which presses on their roots resulting in pain for your upper rear teeth roots resulting in discomfort for you.
Your doctor may prescribe decongestants to ease pressure and decrease swelling in your sinuses. Drinking plenty of fluids – particularly hot beverages like tea and coffee – may also be beneficial, while steaming your face or taking a hot shower may provide temporary relief from sinus pressure. A nasal sprayer/neti pot can also help clear away blockages or congestion in the nose.
OTC medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen may provide temporary relief from tooth pain caused by your sinus infection. If the discomfort continues, consult your dentist.
Untreated toothache can quickly lead to gum disease and dental decay, as well as regular dental visits (with cleanings, x-rays and consultations). Going regularly also can reduce your risk of cracks or breaks causing pain – not only that, but visiting regularly can also prevent the risk of sinusitis or headaches in addition to prevent other potential oral health issues from emerging early on.
Temporomandibular joints (TMJs), more commonly referred to as jaw joints, should operate without pain in order for muscles to move the jaw and teeth, chew and swallow food, talk, yawn and talk freely without discomfort. But if any injury should occur to one of these TMJ joints, muscle pain in the cheek and neck that mimics toothache may result. TMJ pain may also cause ringing in ears or even chest discomfort.
Toothaches typically indicate infection or inflammation of the center section of a tooth called pulp that contains nerve endings. They can be caused by food, sugar, air puffs, temperature extremes or physical trauma to the tooth such as trauma or dental cavities.
TMJ disorders may be the result of chronic jaw clenching or grinding (bruxism), poor posture, or an abnormal bite that prevents TMJ from functioning normally. Your dentist may recommend wearing a splint or bite plate while sleeping to relieve the pressure on the TMJ; stress management techniques; medications to relieve pain; and/or surgery only if symptoms fail to respond adequately to nonsurgical treatments.