21 December 2022
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Anyone can experience tooth pain in the teeth, gums, or jaw. It can range from a mild ache to a sharp, stabbing sensation. Pain can be caused by a wide variety of conditions, including tooth decay, gum disease, root canal infections, and even teeth grinding. In some cases, the pain can be caused by a medical condition such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Dental procedures, such as fillings, crowns, or extractions, can also cause tooth pain. Pain can also be caused by a filling or crown becoming loose or dislodged. Treatment for tooth pain usually involves addressing the underlying cause, such as treating an infection or extracting a damaged tooth. Pain medications may also be prescribed to help relieve the discomfort. However, in some cases, dental pain can be severe and require emergency care.
Causes of Tooth Pain
The underlying cause of tooth pain is sometimes hard to determine without having a dentist examine you. Since the severity of tooth pain does not always indicate the severity of the root cause of the pain, it’s a good idea to see a dentist if you have any concerns at all. The source of your pain will ultimately determine the treatment that will alleviate it. Below is a list of possible causes of tooth pain, but it is not by any means comprehensive. Tooth pain can sometimes be a sign of anything from sinus problems to a heart attack.
- Gum problems such as an exposed root, receding gum line, or infection
- Cracked tooth
- Tooth movement or shift
- Grinding teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Canker sore
- Infection under the surface or in the root of a tooth
- Jaw problem
- Sinus infection
- Extreme hot or cold
- Poor dental hygiene
- Inflamed gums
- High sugar diet
- High sugar liquids
- Piece of food lodged in gum or between teeth
When To See a Dentist
Depending on the severity of your pain, you may need emergency dental care. A dull ache is likely to get worse, so it’s best to seek care or at least make an appointment in the near future as soon as possible. Tooth pain can get so bad it becomes unbearable, and then you will have no choice but to seek dental care immediately.
In the meantime, tooth pain can be very uncomfortable, and it can make it difficult to focus on anything else. Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to relieve your tooth pain until you can get to a dentist to diagnose the problem and get treatment to alleviate the pain.
Tooth Pain Relief
The first thing you want to do is relieve the pain. There are many age-old recommendations, such as chewing on cloves, drinking peppermint tea, or eating some ginger root, just to name a few, that some people recommend for temporarily relieving tooth pain. Some of these methods may work for some people. Many swear by chewing baby aspirin on the pained tooth to relieve pain instantly. If you try these and they don’t work, an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen is all but guaranteed to take the edge off. This will help to reduce the pain and make it more bearable.
Rinsing and Brushing
You should also try to clean the affected and/or painful area by brushing and flossing regularly, even if it is painful. If the pain is still severe, you may want to purchase an over-the-counter numbing gel or ointment. Also, rinsing with a warm saltwater solution can be beneficial on many levels. Ice can also relieve the swelling and pain until you can get to the dentist. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your problem is gone just because the pain subsides.
Diagnosis of What Is Causing Your Tooth Pain
When you do see the dentist, he or she will probably take x-rays to see the status of the inside of your mouth. The x-ray illuminates the tissues and teeth and shows if there are any cavities, infections, or abscesses in your mouth. Diagnostic assessments may also be necessary, such as testing the tooth’s sensitivity to cold. If you can clearly communicate what you're feeling and your condition, it will help the dentist to diagnose you more quickly and, thus, treat you more quickly.
Prevention of Tooth Pain
The best prevention of tooth pain is to practice good oral hygiene and visit a dentist regularly. Good oral hygiene consists of daily brushing and flossing. Regular maintenance visits scheduled every six months will keep you ahead of the game. Your dentist will be able to foresee major issues before they become a big deal and cause you pain.
If you experience intense or prolonged dental pain, it is important to seek medical attention. Don’t ignore tooth pain, no matter how light it may be. Also, any of the following symptoms are indications of a more serious issue and should be considered an emergency:
- Swollen face or neck
- Difficulty opening/closing mouth
- Visible pus
- Swollen Lymph nodes nearby the tooth pain
- Dental trauma that is bleeding
- Dental trauma that consists of a dislodged or broken tooth
Contact Emergency Dental Service
If you are experiencing tooth pain and believe it might be the symptom of something serious, contact Emergency Dental Service to schedule your appointment within 24 hours with a local dentist or call 1-888-350-1340 for 24/7 service. The sooner you do, the sooner you can get relief.