What Causes A Toothache?
Toothache is pain associated with the teeth, and it is most commonly caused by decay. Other causes of painful teeth include cracks or fractures of the teeth, infected gums, a habit of clenching or grinding (usually during sleep) and increased dental sensitivity.
Toothache is a common reason for emergency dental treatment as it can sometimes come out of nowhere and be very painful. Emergency dentistry allows you to receive treatment when you need it, especially handy for times when unexpected problems come up, like a toothache. At Smile Solutions we reserve a number of emergency appointments each day.
What can I do to relieve a toothache?
Experiencing a toothache and don’t know what to do next? You’re not alone.
There are many reasons as to why a toothache may occur such as sensitivity, grinding/clenching habits, loose teeth, abscesses, decay, gum disease or impacted wisdom teeth. Although there are a lot of old wives tails and natural remedies easily found online these days, when it comes to a toothache, it is important to deal with it as soon as possible.
You must regard your oral health as important as you’re overall health, after all there has now been found a two-way link between the two.
Immaculate oral hygiene is imperative in reducing oral disease such as gum disease or tooth decay, causing toothaches. It is important to pay attention to the type of pain you are experiencing such as where you exactly you are experiencing the pain, how often the pain occurs, the triggers for pain, whether trauma occurred to the tooth or area in the mouth, if it’s a sensitivity to hot type of pain, if it’s a sensitivity to cold type of pain, a wisdom tooth coming through or whether or not it wakes you up at night.
When phoning the team at Smile Solutions to make an appointment in regards to a toothache, you will be asked similar questions to these.
It is important to remember that although a toothache can go away, be sporadic or constant, it is important to have the issue looked at rather than just wait for the next time the pain occurs. This same pain could occur while away on a family holiday or in a situation where access to dental services is not available. It is important to see the dentist immediately if your toothache is accompanied by a fever, or if you have trouble breathing or swallowing as severe dental infection can cause facial swelling and in turn lead to hospitalisation due to facial cellulitis.
You have made an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible, but what do you do in the meantime?
Warm salty water rinses are a cheap and fantastic way to clean out possible infected areas in the mouth and reduce food debris and bacteria. All you need is one glass of warm water to a teaspoon of salt.
You also have the option of using mouth rinse purchased over the counter at the pharmacy such as a Chlorhexidine or a Peroxide mouth rinse to reduce the bacterial load in the mouth. You must then keep the whole mouth clean by flossing and brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes at a time, especially the affected area if it is possible.
If needed you can then take something for the pain. Try over-the-counter pain relief that you would normally take for a headache if you are able to do so. You can also try an over-the-counter topical pain reliever containing benzocaine. You can apply this directly to the painful area, however don’t place aspirin or other painkillers directly on the gum tissue or in your tooth as it will burn.
While you may want to take an over-the-counter painkiller, it is recommended that you see a dentist if your toothache continues, and not to treat the toothache with painkillers alone. While medication can mask the pain while you’re taking it, there is most likely something underlying such as an infection or gum disease, for example, that is in need of professional dental treatment.
With good oral hygiene and regular dental check ups, most causes of toothache can be avoided.
Having a good oral hygiene routine goes a long way to preventing many dental problems. You need to be brushing your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day and flossing once a day. Limiting sugar intake will help your teeth stay healthier as well.
It is extremely important for your dental health to have check ups with your dentist every six months, as well as hygienist appointments every six months to get your teeth properly cleaned and ensure any problems can be found and treated early.
Don’t put off your visit to the dentist. The best place to be, if you’re suffering toothache, is in the dental chair.
How can I prevent similar toothaches occurring in the future?
- Regular six monthly check up and clean with your dentist and hygienist.
- A good oral hygiene regime consisting of flossing and brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes.
- Consuming a healthy diet.
- Increase daily water consumption.
- Brush your teeth with a toothpaste containing fluoride to reduce decay.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating and drinking to reduce the food debris in the mouth and return the PH to a healthy level.
- Chew sugar free chewing gum or suck on sugar free mints post eating and drinking to stimulate your natural saliva flow.
- Be aware and in control of your oral health, remembering there is a two-way relationship between your overall health and your oral health.
Please feel free to call our friendly reception staff to firstly talk through symptoms of your toothache and then to organise an appointment with one of our dentists to have the problem dealt with as soon as possible.