Toothache refers to pain in and around your teeth and jaws. It can come and go or remain constant, and be mild or severe, depending on the cause. It can also worsen at night, particularly when you’re lying down. While minor toothaches that result from a temporary gum irritation can be treated at home, more serious ones caused by infection or a chipped tooth will require a dentist’s attention.
While toothaches are common and rarely indicate anything serious, it’s important to see a dentist before it leads to something significant. Toothaches are usually caused by:
● Tooth decay
● An abscessed tooth (a bacterial infection inside the center of the tooth).
● A tooth fracture (broken tooth)
● A damaged filling
● Repetitive motions, such as chewing gum or grinding/clenching teeth, which can wear down your teeth
● Infected gums
● Eruption (teeth coming out of the gums) or removal of a tooth (for example, wisdom teeth)
Sometimes a toothache is an indication of another health problem, such as:
● A heart attack, cluster headache, or sinus infection, which can cause referred pain in the teeth or jaw (Referred pain occurs at a site separate from its origin)
● Viral infections, such as shingles
● Diseases such as diabetes
● Nerve-related disease, such as trigeminal neuralgia
● Alcohol or drug use (especially methamphetamines)
● Vitamin deficiencies, such as too little B12
They say “prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So, the best way to avoid toothache and other dental problems is to take proper care of your teeth and gums. Here’s how.
1. Floss in the morning and at bedtime. This helps remove plaque and food beyond your toothbrush’s reach.
2. Brush your teeth after every meal. This helps remove food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums.
3. Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks. Sugar causes bad bacteria and lowers your mouth’s pH level, ultimately destroying your teeth’s enamel.
4. Quit smoking. Since smoking weakens your immune system, it also makes it harder to fight off a gum infection.
5. Get regular dental check-ups, preferably with the same dentist. They are experts at detecting early dental problems and treating them accordingly.
What Are Symptoms Of Toothache?
Pain in your gums, mouth and even ears is the primary symptom of a toothache. But the severity of pain can vary and manifest in different ways:
● Swelling around the tooth and gums
● Sharp, throbbing, or constant pain around the tooth
● Fever or headache
● Foul-tasting drainage from the infected tooth
● A bad odour from the mouth
● Trouble breathing and swallowing along with the pain
If you experience a sudden toothache, touch the area with clean fingers to try to understand the nature of the pain and its frequency. If it’s a recurring, shooting pain that’s unbearable, contact an experienced dentist in Brampton for advice. As a temporary measure, press ice against your cheek to relieve inflammation and numb the painful area. If it’s a sharp pain that occurs only when you eat something hot or cold, stop eating those items and rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. Repeat for a few days and if the pain persists, call your dentist right away. Remember to outline your medical history and any allergies.