What Causes Tooth Pain?

gresham dental

Maybe it’s dull and constant, or maybe it’s sharp and nearly unbearable, but tooth pain is something many of our Gresham dental patients go through. Understanding the causes of tooth pain and visiting your Gresham dental professional can help provide some relief.


Tooth Decay

Decay is one of the most common causes of tooth pain. Tooth decay occurs when the enamel on your teeth begins to break down, allowing bacteria to penetrate and cause damage to the underlying dentin. Decay can cause a cavity to form, resulting in pain and sensitivity. 


If you’re experiencing tooth pain and suspect you have a cavity, it’s important to see your Gresham dentist as soon as possible. Cavities detected early are easier to treat.


Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common cause of tooth pain. When the gums become inflamed and pull away from the teeth, it creates pockets that can become infected. If not treated, gum disease can lead to serious oral health problems, including tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease can often be treated with a deep cleaning procedure, medication, or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.


Tooth Fracture

Fractures can happen after biting down on something hard, such as ice, or from grinding your teeth at night. A tooth fracture can cause pain and sensitivity. See your Gresham dentist for treatment. Your broken tooth might need a crown or another restoration. 


Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is a serious condition that can cause severe pain and other symptoms. An abscess can occur in the gums or at the root of a tooth. If you’re experiencing pain in a tooth that won’t go away, visit your dentist as soon as possible. An abscessed tooth can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. 


Treatments can include:


Antibiotics: Antibiotics, taken orally or topically, can help clear the infection and reduce pain and swelling. 


Drainage: The abscess may need to be drained to relieve pressure, which also helps with immediate pain. 


Root Canal: A root canal may be necessary when an infection has spread to the pulp of the tooth. 


Tooth Extraction: In severe cases, your Gresham family dentist may recommend an extraction if the tooth is beyond repair or causing significant pain and discomfort.


Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are your last molars to come in, and they often don’t have enough room in the mouth to emerge fully. This squeeze can cause them to become impacted, leading to pain and swelling. If your wisdom teeth are causing pain or discomfort, see your Gresham dentist for a diagnosis and treatment plan.


Sinus Issues

Sinus issues can also cause tooth pain, especially in the upper back teeth. The sinuses and the roots of the upper back teeth are located close to each other, so when the sinuses become inflamed, the pressure can cause pain in the teeth. If you’re experiencing tooth pain and think it may be related to sinus issues, see your dentist and doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


What You Need to Know About Tooth Pain

Sometimes, tooth pain isn’t an oral health issue at all. It could be referred pain from headaches, clogged sinuses, TMJ, or even heart issues. When you come to the Gresham dental office, we’ll take a complete medical history to get the full picture of our overall health. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories can help manage pain and swelling while you wait for treatment. 


If you have a toothache that lasts more than 1-2 days, have a fever along with a toothache, or aren’t able to open your mouth fully, have new swelling in the gums, it’s time to see the dentist ASAP. If you’re not sure, just give us a call.


Gresham Family Dentistry

There’s no need to live with tooth pain. No matter the source of the pain, prompt treatment can help to prevent serious health problems and keep your smile healthy and pain-free. If you experience tooth pain, make an appointment with Dr. Archibald. Our Gresham dental office will make sure you’re taken care of.