A toothache refers to pain in or around your tooth. This discomfort can range from a minor issue, like gum irritation, to an indication of a larger problem, like tooth decay.
However, toothache is sometimes referred pain. This means that the pain is caused by problems elsewhere in the body. A toothache should never be ignored. A toothache caused by tooth decay can be exacerbated if left untreated.
Toothache pain can range from mild to severe, and it may be constant or intermittent. You may feel throbbing pain or swell in or around your tooth or gum, fever, sharp pain when you touch your tooth or bite down, tenderness and achiness in or around your tooth, painful sensitivity in your tooth in response to hot or cold foods, and drinks or burning or shock-like pain, which is uncommon.
Toothaches can cause due to:
A decayed or broken tooth, an abscessed tooth, infected gums, a damaged filling, motions that wear down your teeth, such as grinding or clenching, chewing gum, tooth removal, etc.
A toothache can also be caused by an impacted tooth. This usually happens when one of your teeth, a wisdom tooth, is stuck in your gum tissue or bone. As a result, it cannot erupt, or grow in.
Serious tooth pain doesn`t resolve on its own and requires a visit to your dentist.
Know the Symptoms of Toothaches:
The symptoms of toothache depend on the size and location of the tooth problem. Cavities may not be painful in the beginning. However, if your teeth continue to rot, you may experience serious problems such as:
- Dental hypersensitivity
- Pain when chewing
- Mild pain that gets worse when you drink or eat warm, cold, or sweet foods
- Teeth dents and holes
- Staining and discoloration of the tooth surface.
The symptoms of toothache are similar in adults and children. However, children cannot always determine the cause of pain. If your child has fever and toothache, ask them things like where their mouth pain is, which tooth hurts, is the pain constant? Does eating hot soup or ice cream make it hurt more?
A child’s toothache may not be as obvious or as present as other dental problems. See the dentist for an accurate diagnosis.
Referred pain toothaches:
- Sinusitis is a condition in which the sinuses become inflamed by a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection of the sinuses. Sinusitis can cause pain in the upper teeth because the roots of the upper teeth are close to the sinuses.
Least Common Causes of Referred Pain Toothache:
- Heart disease and lung cancer can also cause toothache. In some cases,a toothache can be a warning sign of a heart attack. Heart and lung disorders can cause toothache due to the location of the vagus nerve. This nerve runs from your brain to the different organs in your body, including your heart and lungs. It passes through your jaw.
Rare causes of referred pain toothaches:
- Trigeminal neuralgia and occipital neuralgia are painful neurological conditions that cause your trigeminal and occipital nerves to become irritated or inflamed. These nerves service your skull, face, and teeth. When they become inflamed, pain can feel like it`s coming from your teeth.
Most people go to the dentist for a toothache because most toothaches are caused by problems with your teeth. Dentists use x-rays and physical examinations of the teeth to detect rot and other dental problems. And they can give you painkillers and antibiotics to treat the infection. If the toothache is caused by cavities, the dentist will drill the cavities and fill the gaps with dental material. Impacted teeth may require surgical removal. If your dentist can`t find the cause of your toothache, they may refer you to a doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for Sinusitis – Your doctor may treat sinusitis with antibiotics or decongestant medications. In rare cases, you may need to undergo surgery to open your nasal passages. In this case, your doctor will refer you to a specialist.
trigeminal neuralgia and occipital neuralgia treatment– There`s no cure for these conditions. Treatment usually consists of relieving pain with medication.
Treatment for heart attack, heart disease, lung cancer– If your dentist suspects you have a heart attack, they will send you to the emergency room. If your dentist suspects you have a heart or lung condition, they will refer you to your doctor for further evaluation.
Things that may help temporarily relieve your tooth pain include:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication, such as aspirin
- OTC topical dental pain medication, such as benzocaine (Anbesol, Orajel)
- OTC decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), if your pain is due to sinus congestion
- clove oil applied to your aching tooth
Check with your doctor or dentist before using any product with benzocaine. Children under 2 should not use any products containing benzocaine.
You can also go with home remedies. Start with these treatments that can be found in the kitchen, drug rack, or local pharmacy:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Use dental floss to remove any food particles or plaque wedged between your teeth.
- Saltwater rinse: mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of water and swirl around your body for 30 seconds 1 Put it in your mouth for a minute and then spit it out. Brine removes deposits between teeth and reduces inflammation.
- Hydrogen peroxide flash: Mix and swirl an equal amount of hydrogen peroxide and water. Do not swallow! 3% hydrogen peroxide solution helps reduce bacteria, inflammation, and pain.
- Over-the-counter (OTC) Analgesics: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve), and acetaminophen (Tylenol) reduce pain and inflammation. When treating a child, use a prescription designed for age and weight. Avoid giving aspirin to children under the age of 16. Tylenol is a good alternative.
- OTC Paralysis Treatment: Dental gels and liquids containing benzocaine help to paralyze the gums and teeth and reduce pain. Gently stroke the teeth and surrounding gum tissue.
- Cold pack: Apply a cold washcloth or ice pack to your cheeks to reduce swelling in your mouth and chin.
Other Toothache Remedies
These natural remedies do not stop tooth decay or cure abscesses, but they may provide temporary relief.
- Garlic: Make a paste and apply it to the affected tooth. Garlic can relieve pain and kill bacteria. Clove oil: Drop one or two drops on a cotton pad and tap on your teeth. Clove oil is a natural preservative that reduces pain and inflammation.
- Vanilla extract: Drop a few drops on a cotton pad and place them on the affected area. Vanilla alcohol paralyzes pain.
- Peppermint Tea: Apply a warm tea bag to your teeth to reduce inflammation.
If you have the following symptoms with a toothache, make sure to seek emergency treatment.
- Swelling of the chin or face. This may be a sign that a tooth infection is widespread.
- Chest pain, shortness of breath, light-headedness, or other signs of a heart attack
- Wheezing, cough that will not go away, or coughing up blood
- Trouble in breathing and swallowing, that may be a sign of lung cancer
Treatment relies upon the causes that are inflicting your pain:
Cavity: If there may be decay, your dentist will get rid of it, fill the cavity, or get rid of the enamel.
Bacterial Infection: Your dentist may also get rid of the pulp on the middle of the enamel if it`s infected. He or she can be able to then shield the location with a sealing material. This technique is known as a root canal.
Food debris, fever, or jaw problems: small portions of meals can be caught on your gums and cause contamination. You will want deep cleansing and gum therapy. If your jaw is swollen or you have a fever, you could want an antibiotic.
A toothache is not something to ignore, particularly in case you are in consistent pain. Visiting the dentist is a pleasant manner to forestall the pain and save your contamination from getting worse.
Untreated cavities and tooth decay can have serious complications for adults and children, even if they do not have permanent teeth. Possible complications include:
An abscess or a pocket of pus around a tooth can spread and lead to a more serious infection-
- Throbbing pain
- Damaged or broken teeth
- Chewing problems
- Tooth loss
How to prevent a toothache?
As we say, prevention is always better than cure. To prevent toothache, make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, apply dental floss, and perform dental examinations and cleanings twice a year or so as often as recommended by your dentist. You can keep your heart and lungs healthy by quitting smoking, eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet, and exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Get your doctor’s permission before starting the exercise program.
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