Nobody wants to have to deal with tooth pain, but unfortunately it is one of those things most people must endure from time to time. Toothaches are generally caused by trauma, tooth decay, or some other oral health issue.
The best way to guarantee that a toothache goes away, and stays away, is by visiting a dentist as soon as possible. That way, the oral professional can address whatever issue is leading to the pain immediately.
Understanding tooth pain
When a person's body experiences pain, warning signals are sent to the brain letting the person know something is wrong. Toothaches can be particularly painful because of the tremendous amount of nerves and blood supply that are associated with our teeth.
Any over-the-counter remedy a person decides to use to alleviate toothaches is only temporary, and in some cases, can be potentially harmful. These remedies typically do not last long and the tooth will continue to be painful until the issue causing the toothache in the first place is directly addressed.
The dental issues that often lead to tooth problems can be caused by severe matters like damaged fillings, tooth decay, fractures, infections, or a broken tooth. These dental issues can quickly lead to more severe health issues if proper treatment is not received promptly. For example, an infection caused by a tooth has the potential to reach the patient's bloodstream, which gives the bacteria access to vital organs like the brain and heart. Infection of these organs can be fatal.
Get relief while waiting to visit the dentist
Getting to a dentist immediately is the best way to deal with toothaches. In the meantime, here are a few things that can be done to help reduce the pain associated with toothaches:
- If there is no major swelling present, use a cold compress to reduce inflammation by applying it to the cheek closest to the source of the pain
- Take over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen
- Rinse the mouth with salt water—1 teaspoon dissolved in 8 ounces warm water
- If there is visible swelling, use a warm compress to increase circulation and help with blood flow and healing
Of course, not all toothaches are equal. If there is pus coming out of the source of pain, that is a sure sign of an infection. It requires an emergency visit to the dentist. Common symptoms of a tooth infection include:
- Swollen or reddish, bleeding gums
- Feeling feverish and generally worn down
- Red bumps in the mouth
- Pus or blood coming from the tooth
- Persistent, throbbing pain
- An unpleasant taste coming from the tooth
- A swollen jaw or face
How tooth pain can be alleviated
Tooth pain can be temporarily decreased by use of Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Both help to reduce the amount of inflammation around the tooth and help to block the signals of pain going to your brain. Patients should follow the recommendations listed on the product label and should not exceed the 24-hour maximum dosage guidelines as serious consequences can develop. There is also a selection of over-the-counter toothache gels and solutions that may help alleviate the pain associated with toothaches but be sure to follow directions of use. Some people find that products containing clove oil are particularly useful.
Be advised that these are only temporary solutions, and that the only way to conclusively fix a toothache is to have your dental professional treat the source of pain.
Are you suffering with a toothache? Contact us today!
Schedule an appointment and have your toothache assessed by Dr. Pfefferle. She will help determine the source of infection and will give you options for long-term solutions.
Call (231) 935-1948 today to reach Cherry Bay Dental.
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