There may be numerous causes for a toothache- be it a loose crown or a swollen gum, an impacted tooth or a dental abscess but the most common reason is some sort of irritation to the dental nerve in one or more of the teeth.
On a regular basis, brushing one’s teeth in an upward and downward motion with a toothpaste containing fluoride is suggested. Rinsing the mouth with antiseptic mouth washes and flossing between the teeth to remove food particles is useful. A good rule of thumb to follow is to live on a good dental hygiene routine whereby regular cleaning and flossing is supplemented by visits to the dentist for a more thorough professional cleaning and oral check-up to see to the patient’s dental health.
Some common home remedies when experiencing tooth ache include taking painkillers and analgesics, gargling with warm saline solution, if there is facial swelling then to apply ice on it.
The main complaints associated with a toothache are sensitivity to hot and cold foods, pain when pressure is applied on the affected tooth, swelling of the gum and cheeks, fluid discharge from that area in the mouth (blood or pus).
In most cases, toothaches are just a symptom of a larger problem that can affect dental health if treatment is not sought. The pain doesn’t usually go away without treatment.
A patient is asked to immediately seek a dentist’s appointment when:
- Painkillers and similar over-the-counter medication did not help
- Pain from a pulled or extracted tooth refuses to recede even after 48 hours
- The pain is so intense that it has brought on a fever
A dentist will examine the painful tooth and area thoroughly and ask the patient a number of questions on their dental and medical history that may be relevant before making a diagnosis. The treatment to be administered will completely depend on the diagnosis. For example, in case of an impacted wisdom tooth or a severely decayed tooth, extraction may be the only alternative whereas for an exposed dental nerve or pulpits, cavity filling or a root canal might be more appropriate.