If you have ever had a toothache you know how painful it can be. Here, we’ll explain what they are, what causes them and how to prevent them, in addition to tips for dealing with a toothache.
What Is a Toothache?
A toothache is just that. An ache or pain in or around a tooth. The pain can be sharp, throbbing, or constant. It may or may not be present only when some pressure is applied to the tooth. While this is the main distinguishing feature of a toothache, other symptoms include swelling around the tooth or a headache. If you have a high fever or bad-tasting drainage, the tooth is most likely infected. Signs of serious infection should be treated immediately. We reserve room in our schedule for dental emergencies.
What Causes a Toothache?
There are many reasons why you might have a toothache, and all are bad for your oral health. The most obvious is tooth decay or cavities. Tooth decay often causes a toothache once the decay has progressed into the dentin layer. Toothaches could also be caused by an abscessed tooth. This is when there is a buildup of bacteria inside the pulp chamber of the tooth. It is usually caused by a cavity that hasn’t been taken care of. Other reasons for toothaches include teeth grinding, a damaged filling, a fracture or crack in a tooth, and infected gums.
What Are the Tips for Dealing With a Toothache?
The first step to dealing with a toothache is to schedule an appointment with us at McNeely Family Dentistry. We can determine the cause of the toothache and the course of treatment. In the meantime, there are a number of home remedies you can use to ease the pain. One of the most effective tips is to swish salty warm water around your mouth a few times a day. If your face is swollen, place a cold compress over your cheek to ease the pain and decrease swelling. If you want to numb the area, take some clove oil and dab it directly onto the infected area. Finally, you can use over the counter products like ibuprofen to relieve the pain and anesthetic gels that contain benzocaine to numb the area. Whatever you do, don’t put aspirin right on the tooth that’s in pain!
How Can You Prevent Toothaches?
The best way to prevent toothaches is to practice good oral health habits every day. This means brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once a day, and using fluoride toothpaste. Additionally, you should make sure your diet is low in sugar and carbohydrates and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Another vital way to avoid toothaches is by coming in for regular checkups and cleanings. Call us today to schedule an appointment!