Toothaches refers to the pain in and around one's mouth and jaw. This pain can be very mild or throbbing, and differs in intensity from one person to another. The pain may start suddenly. In some cases, the pain may become worse with time or just disappear after some time.
Some of the common causes of toothache include:
- Tooth decay
- Broken filling in the tooth
- Crack in the tooth
- Irritation of the tooth root
- Receding gums
- Presence of pus at the end of tooth
- Repetitive motions of teeth
Few conditions can result in pain similar to that of tooth ache but, without affecting the pulp in any way, including:
- Ulcers in the gums
- Swollen gums
- Injury to the joint attaching jaws to the skull
The most important symptoms of a toothache include a sharp throbbing pain in the affected tooth, swelling tooth, fever and drainage from infected tooth.
Remember to meet your dentist if you have any of the following warning signs:
- Tooth ache lasts for more than two to three days
- Pain is severe
- High fever
- Pain while opening your mouth
If you have a toothache, contact your local dentist and get it treated. This will prevent the infections, if any, from spreading to other parts of the face and blood.
There are some simple tips that can be followed at home until you reach the dentist:
- Rinse mouth with warm water
- Flossing to remove the food particles present between teeth
- Pain killers to alleviate the throbbing ache
- Over-the-counter antiseptic containing benzocaine to relieve pain
Treatment options available for a toothache depend on the actual cause of the pain. A toothache caused by a cavity is generally treated by filling the cavity or by a tooth extraction, based on the needs of the individual. Root canal treatment is generally recommended for toothaches caused by infection of the tooth nerve. For fever and swelling of the jaw, antibiotics are used. Pain and inflammation associated with a toothache is alleviated by phototherapy.
In most cases, following good oral hygiene is very critical in preventing toothache. Good oral habits include brushing, flossing, and being regular with dentist’s appointments. Professional cleaning twice a year is also important to have healthy teeth. Having healthy food, particularly eating foods low in sugar is equally important. Ask your dentist about the use of sealants and fluoride applications for healthy oral cavity.