Having a toothache can be one of the most painful experiences in one’s life. What should you do if it happens to you?
The first thing you should do is call for an emergency appointment so the tooth can be assessed, and appropriate treatment prescribed. Teeth that are painful can become even more painful as time passes. This is because infections can become worse, creating more inflammation and soreness. If infection is behind the pain, it can become more severe and spread to surrounding areas. This can lead to swelling of the face and in rare cases spread into the neck and affect breathing, which is a critical emergency and needs immediate hospital attention.
Severe infections are harder to treat and may require more complex procedures. If someone is experiencing a lot of dental pain it is difficult to eat and sleep and becomes exhausting, negatively affecting your quality of life. Also, if antibiotics are required the earlier you start these the faster the infection will be controlled. Antibiotics can help for a short time but won’t solve the problem alone. The pain will return if its source is not found and treated.
Avenue Dental is committed to providing same day emergency appointments if you call before 10 am. This enables us to provide you with comfort and relief without risking things getting worse if you would have to wait for a normal appointment.
Causes of tooth pain
Some tooth pain is reversible if diagnosed and treated early. However, if left alone it can need more drastic treatment can become an major problem, which may result in tooth loss.
The most common cause of a bad toothache is an infected tooth. This is where bacteria have infected the nerve inside the tooth causing the nerve to rot away and die. This process causes swelling in its early stages that is very painful, then once the nerve starts rotting gas is produced making the tooth ache even more as the pressure builds. After the process of rotting finishes the pain in the tooth can either lessen or can spread into the bone around the tooth. During this stage the tooth is usually tender to bite on and swelling of the face can occur. In an infected tooth, bacteria enter the nerve through tooth decay, cracks in the tooth or under deep fillings. In most cases it is important to know how the bacteria entered the tooth so the treatment can be determined and discussed with the patient.
Other causes of toothache can be tooth wear or small cracks in teeth causing the sensitive inner part of the tooth to react to cold or biting. Gum infections around wisdom teeth can also cause pain. Food lodging between teeth can also cause nasty and painful gum infections and accelerate tooth decay. Infection causing advanced gum disease is also a source of tooth pain. Grinding and clenching the teeth can cause pain. If the grinding and clenching is severe it can cause inflammation in the muscles and jaw joint that can be very painful.
In some cases, tooth ache may not even be coming from the teeth at all. The most common non-tooth cause of tooth ache is sinus infections. This is because some facial sinuses sit just above the roots of the upper back teeth. When congestion occurs, the sinuses put pressure on the teeth and can mimic tooth pain.
How to treat toothache
If you can’t get to see your dentist immediately and there’s swelling, holding a cold compress (a bag of frozen peas) on the outside cheek may soothe the pain. Over-the-counter pain medications help take the edge off. Do not place an aspirin tablet on the gum or tooth as it can burn you.
It is best to see your dentist as soon as possible. Once your dentist has assessed your toothache reasons and identified any other concerns, they can discuss all the information on your available options. You can then decide what is best for you and your tooth.
For toothache treatment call Avenue Dental Caloundra, Kawana, Maroochydore, Bli Bli, North Lakes and Baringa before 10am to access our same day emergency guarantee.