What To Do When You Have A Toothache
Dealing with toothache can be anything from a nagging annoyance to completely debilitating. Whether you are feeling a slight pain in your jaw, a sharp pain in a tooth or dull aching pain, toothaches are usually a symptom of an underlying issue. Wherever the pain is located, getting a dentist to check your teeth to make sure your mouth, teeth, and gums are healthy is important.
What causes toothache?
There is no one cause of toothache but experiencing tooth pain can often be the symptom of a number of underlying tooth problems. If you have orthodontics and have just experienced a tightening of your braces, or have had dental work done, there’s a high chance that your pain is a result of work being done in your mouth. But, day to day, experiencing tooth pain is not normal, and is not something you should have to live with. Causes of tooth pain can include:
There’s a reason dentists love to encourage their patients to brush and floss twice a day. The plaque on your teeth is filled with bacteria and this can erode the enamel on your teeth. With less enamel, your nerve endings are more exposed and will feel more sensitive. Left untreated decay can infiltrate into the centre of the tooth and cause all sorts of problems. Get to a dentist quickly, and make sure brushing twice a day (and flossing) is a firm part of your morning and nightly routines.
Your gums are just as much of an important part of your mouth as your teeth are. Healthy gums keep your teeth healthy, and any care routine should include giving your gums a gentle brush. Gum disease is caused by plaque — yes those guys again — beneath the gum causing damage to your gums, which in turn affects the roots of your teeth. Gum disease can cause a dull achy pain and result in teeth loosen and falling out over time.
Cracked, chipped, and broken teeth are painful and yet, dentists still see patients who have been living with teeth years after trauma has happened. The best thing patients can do when experiencing tooth trauma is booking an appointment with a dentist right away. At Gentle Dental, our team of dentist are available throughout the week for same day emergency appointments.
Impaction is a common form of toothache, especially when it comes to wisdom teeth. As teeth don’t always come through the gums in a nice, orderly fashion, an impacted tooth can end up pushing against its neighbour, if there is not enough room in the mouth. This can obviously cause a lot of pain. Wisdom tooth pain can often be dull and achy, but getting to a dentist early will leave you with a healthy mouth, and far less toothache.
Teeth grinding, also called bruxism
If you are experience jaw ache and headaches, teeth grinding could be the culprit. Many people that grind their teeth at night are unaware that even do so. Teeth grinding wears down teeth over time and cases exposure to the sensitive middle layer of the tooth. A dentist can fit you for a mouthguard and check out your teeth to make sure your mouth is healthy.
Crisps, nuts and other snack foods can be terrible culprits for getting stuck between teeth. Sometimes, even brushing and flossing won’t work if food is trapped in hard to reach places, such as between impacted teeth or wisdom teeth. Trapped food can cause a dull, persistent ache and only a visit to the dentist will be able to clear out the trapped food.
Misaligned teeth can cause pain from teeth that put pressure on the mouth, or from having a bite that doesn’t close properly. If you are experiencing tooth pain from misaligned teeth, orthodontic treatment can help realign your teeth, give you a better bite, and a neat straight smile. At Gentle Dental, we specialise in gentle braces that are less painful than many types of orthodontics.
What to do when experiencing toothache
If you are experiencing toothache, you should book an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. Toothache is a symptom of an underlying problem and should always be treated as serious. Oral health complaints don’t usually go away on their own, so waiting on the problem is likely to only make it worse. The longer you delay the problem, the worse it can become.
When you book an appointment with a dentist, make sure to tell the receptionist if you are experience high levels of pain and discomfort. At Gentle Dental, we take toothache and pain seriously and can see patients for emergency appointments if neccessary.
A dentist will examine your teeth and recommend a suitable treatment. It is important to be honest with your dentist about your tooth care. If you don’t floss or brush regularly, it’s important to be honest with your dentist. Getting back into a regular toothcare routine is one way to prevent future tooth problems.
Remedies for toothache
If you have booked a dental appointment but still have to wait to see the dentist there are a few things you can do to help. Take a painkiller to ease the pain. Taking over the counter medicine such as panadol or aspirin can relieve pain temporarily, enough to make you comfortable until you can see a dentist.
Salt water can help kill bacteria and reduce swelling in the mouth. Stir salt into a glass of warm water. Gargle the water and swish it around your mouth before spitting it out. You can repeat this every few hours.
For temporary pain you can also hold a pack of ice against the side of your mouth to help relieve pain. Make sure the ice is wrapped in a tea towel. Don’t hold it directly against your teeth. Your teeth are sensitive and this will cause more pain and discomfort.
Prevent toothache by adopting a tooth care routine
Ask your dentist about how to prevent the specific type of toothache you have experienced. For teeth grinders they may recommend wearing a mouthguard. Cutting down on snack foods that can be lodged in between teeth can also help prevent food from becoming stuck between teeth.
A thorough flossing and brushing routine will help your mouth, teeth, and gums to stay healthy, prevent cavities, get rid of plaque, dislodge food debris, and keep your teeth protected. Twice yearly check-ups with your dentist will also help catch any tooth problems before they get worse. The team at Gentle Dental make seeing a dentist a comfortable, and pain-free experience. Book in now if you are experiencing toothache and we can get you back to having a healthy, happy smile.