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Suffering from Tooth Pain? Common Causes of Sensitivity and How to Relieve the Pain

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When you are afflicted by mouth discomfort or pain it can be difficult to focus on anything else. There are many reasons teeth can suddenly become sensitive to certain foods or temperatures, some of them are age-related and others could point to signs of gum disease. Whatever the case, getting to the root of the problem is key to finding a solution for your tooth pain.

So why are your teeth hurting? Here are several common causes of tooth pain and what you can do to help resolve it.

Deep Dental Cleanings

Standard dental cleaning is unlikely to irritate your gums very much and it’s usually business as usual as soon as you leave your dentist’s office but when you’re displaying signs of gum disease, sometimes a routine cleaning just isn’t enough.

Deep cleans, also known as root planing and teeth scaling in Toronto, require hygienists to get below the gumline for heavy-duty tartar removal. While teeth scaling and root planing are essential for helping to combat and reverse the damaging effects of gingivitis and gum disease, they can also leave your teeth and gums feeling sensitive for up to a week after the procedure.

While a little discomfort after root planing and teeth scaling is perfectly normal, if the pain becomes intolerable, your dental professional may prescribe antibiotics and a mouth rinse to help manage pain and treat a possible infection.

Receding Gums

Healthy gums are essential to healthy teeth, however, over time they can begin to recede exposing the root of the tooth- a situation which can be extremely painful. A little gum recession may occur naturally as we age and for some people gum recession is hereditary. The best way to proactively combat receding gums is by beginning hyper-vigilant with your oral routine including brushing after meals, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouth rinse.

Receding gums can also be a sign of gum disease. Plaque that forms on the surface of the tooth, if not regularly cleaned away, calcifies slowly and begins to make its way beneath the gum line where it becomes a magnet for all kinds of bacteria. As the infection progresses, gums can begin to pull away from teeth and in severe cases, teeth may become loose and fall out.

Root planing and teeth scaling are regularly performed at Toronto dental offices to help remove tartar buildup and to smooth out the surface of the tooth near the root thereby making it more difficult for plaque to stick. Once the plaque and tartar have been cleaned away, gums may begin to heal.

Whitening Products

Who doesn’t wish that their pearly whites were a little whiter? It’s even more enticing when the treatments can be doled out at home.  However, proceed with caution as the chemicals used in many types of popular drug store DIY tooth whitening products can eat away at your tooth enamel and increase tooth sensitivity.


Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity and pain. It can manifest as temperature sensitivity to hot or cold, pain when chewing foods that are overly sweet or sour, and even present as a consistent throbbing ache.

Broken Fillings

If a new cavity isn’t the source of your tooth pain, then a broken filling on a previously treated cavity might be. Metal fillings have an average life expectancy of about 15 years whereas tooth-coloured composite fillings typically need to be replaced after about 10. If you have old fillings, they may be cracked or damaged, exposing the root of your tooth.

No matter the cause, prolonged tooth sensitivity should not be ignored. Schedule a visit with your Toronto dental office and get to the root of your tooth pain once and for all.