If you have ever experienced a toothache, then you know that it can be an all-consuming pain. Toothaches can make it hard to concentrate on anything else. But not all toothaches need to be treated immediately by a dentist. Thankfully, there are some home remedies you can try that can bring tooth pain relief. Read on to understand when your toothache requires a trip to the emergency dentist and what you can do at home to ease toothache pain.
What causes a toothache?
Let’s start by understanding what causes toothaches in the first place. Toothaches can be caused by many things. Perhaps you got the hull of a popcorn seed stuck from your visit to the movie theater the night before. Or, you may be experiencing some temporary gum irritation. However, more severe toothaches are caused by dental and mouth problems that won’t resolve themselves on their own and will need to be treated by a good family dentist. Most toothaches are caused by the following.
- Abscessed tooth.
- Broken tooth.
- Damaged filling.
- Chewing gum or grinding or clenching teeth.
- Tooth decay.
- Infected gums.
- Eruption or removal of a tooth.
Warning Signs of a Toothache
Though tooth pain is the most obvious sign of a toothache, most toothaches are often accompanied by other discomforts. But not all people are the same, so you may also experience increased sensitivity, swelling, or pain when you put pressure on your tooth or the surrounding area. Being aware of these additional signs will alert you to your tooth pain perhaps being something that requires further attention from your dentist.
How can you soothe tooth pain at home?
If you have a toothache and haven’t been able to get in to see the dentist yet, it doesn’t mean that you have to suffer in pain. There are things that you can do at home to lessen the pain. Some of the most effective strategies to mitigating toothache pain include the following:
- Applying a cold compress.
- Taking an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen.
- Rinsing with a saltwater solution.
- Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide.
- Applying a hot pack.
- Trying acupressure.
- Using peppermint tea bags.
When does a toothache require a trip to the emergency dentist?
The underlying cause and symptoms of your toothache are what determines whether you need emergency dental care. But you should plan to see an emergency dentist if your toothache is accompanied by one or more of the following conditions:
- Persistent, sharp pain.
- Pain when pressure is applied to the tooth.
- Bleeding gums and inflammation.
- Weird taste in the mouth or a bad odor that lingers throughout the day.
- Swollen jaw or swelling around the neck.
- Earache or pain when you open your mouth wide.
Tooth decay, chipped, broken, or fractured teeth, and infected teeth are the most common issues that lead to toothaches. When you take steps to prevent these dental issues, you will be far less likely to develop a toothache, and you will have less need to visit an emergency dentist.
How can you prevent tooth pain in the first place?
As mentioned, tooth decay, chipped, broken, or fractured teeth, and infected teeth are the most common issues that lead to toothaches. Thus, practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent a toothache from occurring in the first place. And the best way to do that is to do the following:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes at a time using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss between all of your teeth at least once per day.
- Rinse your mouth once a day with a fluoridated mouthwash.
- Visit a good family dentist once every six months for a dental cleaning and oral examination.
- Ask your dentist about sealants and fluoride applications.
- Eat foods that are low in sugar.
- Avoid the use of tobacco products.
Call Dr. Sexton for help with your toothache.
If you are in the Morristown, TN, area and are suffering from a toothache, now is the time to request an appointment if you have a toothache that does not need emergency dental care. The specific treatment of your toothache will vary depending on its severity and its cause. For example, if your toothache is due to a cavity, it may require a filling. In other situations, you may need a root canal. Or you may have a gum infection and require cleaning underneath the gum to remove the source of your pain.
Whatever it is causing your pain, Dr. Sexton will be happy to help you with treatment to relieve your tooth pain and set you on the path to better oral care to keep your pain from recurring. We look forward to seeing you.