Toothache is described as mild or severe pain that happens in or around the tooth. It could happen in any of the teeth and could be several teeth at a time.
It happens when the nerves inside your teeth are irritated or injured. It comes as either dull or sharp pain that could go away after some time or persist.
There are several things that could result in a toothache. Some problems like temporary gum or teeth disturbance cause mild toothaches, while some serious problems like mouth and gum problems could cause serious toothaches.
Some of the more specific reasons why you might get a toothache include;
- Tooth decay and cavities – Tooth decay leads to cavities, which are holes that appear on or in the tooth. Some may occur on the tooth surface, where they slowly eat away the enamel. Others may occur from the top of the tooth to the root, and others may happen in the root.
- Abscessed teeth – An abscessed tooth is a tooth that has a pocket of pus around its root. Those abscessions could result from gum diseases, cavities or tooth decay, or cracked teeth.
- Repetitive mouth motions like grinding the teeth or chewing gum that could wear down your teeth.
- Damaged or lost fillings that could expose the nerves inside the teeth, causing pain.
- Jaw or mouth injury from physical trauma.
- Eruption or removal of a tooth, like wisdom teeth.
- Infected gums that could expose your roots.
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.
- Fractured or broken teeth.
- Sinus infection.
- Food particles stuck between the teeth.
Toothaches are among the most commonly reported dental problems. It could come from pressure on the tooth or sensitivity from cold or hot foods and drinks. Sometimes the pain could last a few more seconds after you remove the stimuli or pressure.
Some other symptoms of toothache include;
- Pain when chewing or biting.
- Swelling of the gum and cheeks around the affected tooth.
- Bleeding or discharge from the gums around the affected tooth.
- Throbbing around the tooth that doesn’t go away.
- Bad breath and taste in the mouth.
When To See A Dentist
Sometimes the toothache goes away on its own if you avoid things that trigger it. However, sometimes the pain becomes unbearable, and you might debate whether it’s the right time to see the doctor. Some of the signs that indicate you should see a dentist include;
- Toothache that does not go away or reduce after two days.
- Pain that spreads to the ears and causes migraines or pain when you open your mouth.
- Experiencing severe swelling on your gums, cheeks, and face.
- When the pain is severe and starts spreading to other teeth.
- Trouble swallowing.
Home Remedies For Toothaches
The first thing we think about any time we encounter a problem is whether we can deal with it using some things at home. Some of the things you can do at home to try and minimize or eliminate your toothache include;
Rinsing with warm saltwater
This is the first and simplest way to try and deal with the pain. Mix half a teaspoon of salt with half a glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth for a few seconds.
Do that a few times. The water helps remove any food debris stuck between your teeth, reduce inflammation and disinfect any wounds around the tooth.
Hydrogen peroxide rinse
Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. The hydrogen peroxide should have a concentration of around 3%. Use the mixture as a mouthwash and spit.
Hydrogen peroxide helps disinfect the area around the affected tooth, reduce inflammation and pain, and helps with bleeding gums.
Wrap a bag of ice cubes in a towel and place on the cheek near the affected tooth. That helps constrict the blood vessels and reduce the pain.
Crush a few garlic cloves to make a paste, then apply it to the affected tooth. Garlic helps kill bacteria around the tooth that causes dental plaque and also reduces the pain.
Peppermint tea bags
Soak a peppermint tea bag in warm water and apply it to the affected tooth. Peppermint helps soothe sensitive gums and numb the pain around the tooth.
Elevating your head
Elevating your head as you lie down reduces the amount of blood going to the head, and that reduces the pain and inflammation.
Grind cloves and soak them to make a paste, then apply that paste to the affected area. Alternatively, you can suck on a clove and let it sit on the affected tooth. Cloves have eugenol, which helps numb the pain.
Over the counter medication
Take over-the-counter pain medications and if they don’t help, consult a dentist or a pharmacist for more powerful pain relievers.
Apply a few drops of vanilla extract on the tooth using a cotton bud or your finger a few times a day. Vanilla contains alcohol which helps to temporarily numb the area, and also has antioxidants that help heal the area.
Chew a few guava leaves with the teeth near the affected area so that the juice gets to the tooth. Alternatively, you can boil the leaves and use that juice as a mouthwash. Guava leaves contain anti-inflammatory properties, and they help heal wounds around the affected tooth.
Mix a few drops of thyme essential oil and apply that moisture onto the affected tooth. Thyme has a lot of antioxidants and antibacterial properties that help heal wounds and kill bacteria around the affected tooth.
If the home remedies do not work, it’s time to see the dentist. Your dentist examines you to determine your medical history, and they may ask some questions like;
When the pain started.
- How severe the pain is.
- Where the pain is located.
- What makes the pain worse or less?
They also physically examine your mouth, gums, teeth, tongue, jaws, throat, ears, sinus, neck, and nose. They may also do an X-ray.
Some of the ways the dentist treats the toothache include;
- Tooth extraction if the cause is a serious cavity. If it is a minor cavity, they may clean out the tooth and fill it.
- Root canal if the toothache is caused by infected nerves. The dentist removes the tooth pulp and replaces it with sealing material.
- Deep cleaning- Sometimes, the cause of toothache might be food particles, and debris stuck between the teeth. In that case, the dentist cleans your teeth and prescribes an antibiotic to help reduce inflammation and fever.
You must have your toothache treated because if left untreated, it could spread to other nearby teeth. It could also cause infections in and around your mouth and could later grow into a life-threatening situation.
How To Prevent Toothaches
Prevention is better than cure. There are several things you can do to prevent toothache, and some of the things that trigger it including;
- Maintain a healthy diet. Bacteria that cause tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases love sugar and starch in your mouth; therefore, you have to avoid sugary and sticky foods. Also, avoid hard or acidic foods that may erode your enamel and expose the nerves.
- Maintain proper oral hygiene. Brush and floss daily to remove any food particles stuck between your teeth and to avoid plaque buildup. Ensure you brush with fluoride toothpaste that strengthens your enamel and prevents tooth decay.
- Avoid toothpaste that has abrasive ingredients and toothbrushes that have hard bristles. You should also schedule professional teeth cleaning twice a year. Maintaining proper hygiene also helps increase the life of your dental fillings.
- Wear protective gear anytime you want to engage in any sports or vigorous activities to prevent injury or trauma.
If you have a toothache and need to permanently deal with it or need advice on how to prevent it, you need to regularly visit the best dentists around you. If you are in Phoenix and Ahwatukee, AZ, Imagine dental is the place you need to visit.
We have a team of the best dentists in the area, and we are committed to helping you maintain and restore your smile and perfect dental health. We have the best services and methods to help you deal with the stubborn unbearable pain caused by toothaches.
We also offer advice and services that help you keep toothaches at bay, including professional teeth cleaning. We also perform cosmetic dental procedures that help alleviate not only toothache pain but also maintain your smile.
We have customer care lines open 24/7, making it possible for you to call and ask for our advice anytime. We have customized services, which means you get treatments perfectly fitted for your problems.