Tooth decay is the most common cause of toothaches, but it’s not the only one. Others include gum disease, pulp inflammation, and dental abscess. An injury to the face can also result in a toothache even if the tooth and surrounding gum tissue were perfectly healthy beforehand! Teeth impacted in the jaw can be painful too. There’s also tooth sensitivity, and sometimes simple congestion or a sinus infection can feel a lot like a toothache.
We encourage anyone with a toothache to schedule an emergency dental appointment, but sometimes toothaches aren’t polite enough to pop up during the dentist’s normal hours. What then? Fortunately, there are a few things patients can do to manage their pain level until the dentist can see them:
• Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine
• Apply topical pain relievers
• Apply a cold compress to the sore area
• Rinse and spit warm salt water to reduce the inflammation (don’t swallow it!)
Let’s Keep That Smile Toothache-Free!
Never forget that pain is the body’s natural alarm system to let us know when something’s wrong. That’s why we should never ignore a toothache. It won’t go away on its own, and whatever’s causing it will likely get worse, so if you have a toothache, make sure to schedule an appointment. The dentist will get to the bottom of it and recommend the right steps to take next.