Dealing with Severe Toothaches
A toothache refers to a pain felt in a tooth or the area surrounding it. The major causes of toothaches include:
- Abscessed teeth
- Jaw trauma
- Tooth decay
- Broken tooth
- Damaged fillings
- Infected gums
- Repetitive motions like grinding teeth
How do you know you have a toothache? Here are some symptoms to look out for:
- A sharp, constant, or throbbing pain in the tooth
- Swelling in the region surrounding the tooth
- Increased sensitivity to heat and cold
When to Seek Emergency Dental Care
Seek emergency dental services if:
- Your toothache last for over two days
- The pain is severe
- You are feverous and have an earache
- You feel pain when you open your mouth
At the emergency dentistry, the dentist will find the underlying issue and stop it from spreading further.
What to Expect at the Dentist’s Office
When you walk into a dental clinic with a severe toothache, your dentist at New Tampa Smiles first assesses your medical records before conducting a physical examination. They will ask about the pain duration, its severity, and location. Your dentist then examines the teeth, mouth, jaws, tongue, throat, neck, nose, and ears. X-rays may also be performed for further tests.
Treating a Toothache
The treatment approach your dentist will take will depend on the root cause of your toothache. For instance, if the pain results from tooth decay, they may choose between root canal therapy and extraction. Your dentist will perform root canal treatment if your tooth can be salvaged. During root canal therapy, the dentist removes the decayed part and clears the void of any debris and bacteria. Once the cavity is clear, the filling is inserted, followed by finishing and polishing. Your dentist may opt for tooth extraction if your tooth is too damaged to be salvaged. The procedure could be simple or surgical, depending on the location of your tooth.
Since the most common cause of toothaches is tooth decay, practicing good oral hygiene could help keep the issue in check. Dentists recommend brushing at least twice daily and flossing once every day. Using fluoride toothpaste helps keep your teeth cavity-free. It could also help if you used antiseptic mouthwash and made frequent visits to the dentist.
Dealing with a Toothache Overnight
at times, the sharp pain may come late into the night. It may be difficult to see a doctor during this time, so you will have to wait till the following day for your appointment. Here are some remedies to get you through the night:
- Pain Medication: To deal with the pain temporarily, you can take over-the-counter pain medications. Ensure you take the right dosage. If the pain shows no signs of subsiding, call your dentist, and have them recommend more potent pain relievers.
- Cold Compress: Cold compresses are effective in easing the pain of a toothache. Wrap a pack of ice in a clean towel and hold it against the affected part of your face. Doing so aids in vasoconstriction, thus reducing pain and allowing you to catch some sleep. Avoid applying the ice directly to your face as it could have a burning effect.
- Elevation: Another way you can deal with the pain is by elevating your head. Use some extra pillows to ensure your head is above the level of your heart. This prevents the pooling of blood in your head that could cause more inflammation and pain.
- Salt Water Rinse: You could also create a water and salt solution and use it to rinse your mouth. Owing to its antibacterial properties, saltwater is capable of reducing inflammation. Rinsing your mouth using this solution, therefore, protects your damaged tooth from infections. The rinse also helps eliminate any food debris that may be lodged between your teeth or gums.
- Peppermint Tea: Research indicates that peppermint could help alleviate toothache-related pain. You could suck on tea bags or swish the tea in your mouth. Peppermint contains antioxidant and antibacterial compounds that have proven effective in relieving pain.
- Garlic: Fortunately for you, garlic is readily available in your kitchen. Allicin–its amain compound–has strong antibacterial properties, making it effective in killing pain- and cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. You can chew on a garlic clove and let it sit next to the aching tooth.