Toothache or Dental Pain
A toothache or dental pain is caused when the nerve in the root of a tooth or a nerve near a tooth is irritated.
Causes of Toothache
If the pain lasts for more than a day, decay is likely the main cause.
A yellow-brown defect in the surface may be seen.
The most affected site is the surface of one of the molars. The pain is dull.
If the pain is serious and persistent, the decay may have become an abscess. That means a pus pocket has formed inside the tooth root.
Tapping on the tooth causes increased pain. If not treated, the abscess will run through the bone. A “gum boil” will be seen below the gumline. See a dentist for a root canal treatment.
Accidentally biting on a hard object can crack a tooth. The tooth becomes very sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks. The tooth may look normal. The fracture line may be below the gumline or just hard to see.
Gingivitis is a medical term for irritated gums. They are red and tender. If brushing and flossing are ignored or not practised properly, the gums may even bleed, and it can be very painful.
Hard food may become lodged between the teeth. Proper flossing techniques will remove the food and stop the pain.
Signs and Symptoms of a Toothache
Signs and symptoms that can indicate a tooth problem are:
- pain while biting or chewing,
- teeth hypersensitivity to extreme temperatures,
- cheek or gums swelling near the tooth,
- discharge or bleeding of gums,
- constant throbbing inside a tooth.
A toothache can present as a dull or sharp pain that may occur spontaneously on its own or when triggered.
Additional symptoms may include:
- neck pain,
- bad taste or odour in the mouth.
Meanwhile, there are some steps that you can take to relieve toothaches until you make it to your dentist’s office.
- Floss carefully to remove any food particles stuck between the teeth or along the gumline that could be causing pain. If your child is suffering from a toothache, help him/her do a thorough flossing job.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with lukewarm saltwater, then spit it out. This may flush out food debris that could be causing toothache.
- Try over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Apply an over-the-counter topical pain reliever with benzocaine, directly to the affected area. But do not put aspirin or other painkillers directly on your gum tissue or in your tooth—it will burn.
Since most toothaches are caused by tooth decay, these good oral hygiene practices can prevent toothaches:
- Brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing at least once a day
- Seeing your Moorabbin dentist once every six months for a check-up
In addition to these practices, eat foods low in sugar and ask your dentist about dental sealants and fluoride treatments.
Toothache Management in Moorabbin
At Captivate Dental, we want to make sure you get the appropriate and immediate care you need, especially when you have a toothache. In cases of toothache, see your Moorabbin dentist as soon as possible.
For patients with busy schedules, we offer Saturday hours as well as late visits on Wednesday (by appointment only).
We are located at 46 Station Street in Moorabbin.