What is toothache?


Toothache is a condition characterised by pain in the teeth, which can become more pronounced when consuming food and beverages, particularly if they are extremely hot or cold.


This discomfort can significantly impact daily activities, making it challenging to sleep, brush teeth, speak naturally, and even bite into or chew food comfortably.


It’s important to note that toothache typically doesn’t resolve on its own and may escalate from mild discomfort to severe distress if left untreated.


Symptoms of toothache include not only the pain itself but also potential swelling and pain in the gums, cheek, and jaw on the affected side. The gums may become sore, reddened, and prone to bleeding easily. Additional symptoms can include intense headaches and/or fever, the occurrence of pus discharge, bad breath, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, and possibly even earache.

What causes toothache?


Toothache is primarily triggered by the development of tooth decay and/or periodontitis (gum disease). The source of the pain is typically the nerve in the tooth root, which becomes irritated or infected, leading to discomfort that spreads to the affected tooth and gum area.


Other common factors that can lead to toothache include tooth injury, the formation of a dental abscess, a cracked or chipped tooth, the presence of food debris stuck to the gumline, and a loose or broken tooth filling. Toothache may also arise during the eruption of new teeth, such as wisdom teeth, or after a tooth extraction. Long-term teeth grinding (bruxism) can cause cracks in the teeth, resulting in toothache. Overly aggressive brushing of teeth and gums or the onset of receding gums can also contribute to toothache.


How to treat toothache?


If you experience toothache, it’s essential to schedule an appointment with your dentist to accurately diagnose and treat the underlying cause. In the meantime, there are some self-care measures you can take to alleviate discomfort.


Maintain your regular oral hygiene routine at home but exercise extra care. Rinsing your mouth with a saltwater solution and applying a cold compress can help reduce swelling and make you more comfortable. Over-the-counter pain medication can provide immediate relief by reducing inflammation.


Upon visiting the dental clinic, your dentist will conduct an oral examination and may take X-rays to assess the toothache’s cause. Treatment options may include addressing a tooth cavity, managing or preventing periodontitis, prescribing antibiotics for an infection, or performing a root canal procedure if needed. It is crucial not to delay seeking toothache treatment, so seek professional care promptly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my toothache so painful?

A toothache can be very painful because the pulp in the inside of your is more than likely exposed. This pulp has many nerves and once exposed these nerves can become damaged. This is what causes really bad pain as the bacteria is infecting the area and may then cause an abscess. It is important to book an emergency appointment here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic if a toothache persists as a delayed diagnosis can lead to more severe treatment and may even lead to needing an extraction.

Will a tooth eventually stop hurting?

It really depends on what is causing the pain. If it is pain that you only feel for a day or so and then it goes away it might have been a slight injury due to grinding or biting to hard. If the pain is caused by an exposed an exposed nerve the pain wont usually go away until you have the tooth treated. If the pain does go away suddenly it could mean that the tooth is dying. Even though the pain has stopped it does not mean the problem has gone away as the chances of saving a tooth after it has died decrease.

What Should I Do If I Break A Tooth?

  1. Collect the broken pieces and place them in a clean, dry container to bring to the dentist.
  2. Avoid hard foods and place some sugar free chewing gum on the sharp broken edge to protect surrounding gums.
  3. Rinse the remaining tooth left in the gum with warm water to get rid of any dirt and debris.
  4. If the tooth was broken due to injury, place a cold compress on the area to stop any swelling.
  5. Call Smile Hub Dental Clinic to arrange an appointment. If you can see yellow dentin or red, exposed pulp, come see us immediately.

Is a dental abscess classed as an emergency?

If a dental abscess is suspected the best action to take is to contact Smile Hub for an emergency assessment and treatment. Doing so allows immediate care without long waits. Even if pain is intermittent treatment for an abscess should be sought, as the abscess and infection inevitably continue to develop.

Leaving the abscess untreated by not taking the step to contact an emergency dentist may lead to spread of infection, worse illness and tooth loss. It is not uncommon for people to have a tooth extracted if they avoid receiving treatment for a dental abscess.

What happens if you leave a mouth ulcer untreated?

Usually mouth ulcers do not need any treatment and will go away themselves. The one complication that can occur from mouth ulcers is a bacterial infection. In extremely rare cases, and infected ulcer can cause bacteria which infects other areas of the mouth. This can be treated with antibiotics.

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