My Tooth Hurts! What Should I Do About Tooth Pain?
Determining How to Relieve Your Tooth Pain
If you’ve never had a toothache before, you might find yourself struggling to decide how serious it is and how you should handle it. What could be causing your tooth pain? Do you need to go to the dentist, or will it go away on its own? We’ve put together an overview of toothaches to help you answer these questions and pinpoint what steps you can take to relieve and treat your tooth pain.
What does my toothache mean?
There are several different types of tooth pain, each of which can point to a range of potential dental issues. Sharp, jabbing pains that pop up frequently in response to a stimulus like chewing or changes in temperatures can be caused by a cavity, abscess, or crack in your tooth. If this pain only pops up in relation to temperature changes but not to other stimuli, it could also be a sign of gum recession or enamel erosion. Similarly, if you’re only experiencing pain when you eat, the culprit could be a cavity or a crack in your tooth. Severe toothaches that throb constantly are a serious type of toothache that require immediate attention from an emergency dentist, as they can indicate a severe cavity, abscess, or infection. This type of tooth pain is sometimes accompanied by swelling, which is a sure sign of an infection.
Dull, constant toothaches are often easier to ignore than other types of toothaches because they tend to go away temporarily when you take over-the-counter pain medications, but they shouldn’t be discounted. They often signal a cavity or gum disease, but when it’s widespread across multiple teeth, this type of ache can also indicate that you’re clenching or grinding your teeth at night. This habit might seem innocuous at first, but it can lead to bigger dental issues like chipped, cracked, or broken teeth.
When do I need to go to the dentist?
Regardless of the type or severity of tooth pain you’re experiencing, any new pain or discomfort needs to be checked out by Dr. Staley. A tooth’s nerves are at its center, so any decay that causes you pain is already severe and needs to be checked out as soon as possible. Waiting will only worsen the issue while causing you more pain. Not all toothaches require an emergency dental appointment, but you should call our office and schedule an appointment for as soon as possible any time you’re experiencing pain.
How can I tell whether or not I need an emergency dental appointment?
The biggest factor in determining if you need an emergency dental appointment is how much pain you’re in. Any time your pain is severe, especially if it’s to the point you can’t ignore it, you should schedule an emergency dental appointment right away. If you can hold out with OTC medicine, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.
You should also schedule an emergency appointment if there’s a visible injury to your tooth, such as a crack or a break. Signs of infection, like swelling or fever, are also sure signs that you need to visit the emergency dentist right away.
How do I schedule my appointment?
If you can wait a few days to see Dr. Staley, you can quickly and easily request an appointment online. You’ll need a more immediate response if you’re suffering from a dental emergency, however, so you should always call our office to schedule these types of appointments. Whichever method you use, do your best to describe the type of pain you’re experiencing and what’s triggering it, as this will give us a better idea of what you may be suffering from before you even arrive at our office. If you’re not sure if you have a dental emergency on your hands, always call our office to ask questions. We can help you determine if you need an emergency appointment or if you can wait a few days to see Dr. Staley.
How can I relieve my pain until I can get a dental appointment?
Thankfully, even if you need to wait a few days to see Dr. Staley, you don’t have to live with a constant level of pain. There are plenty of methods you can use to relieve your pain until you can get a dental appointment. Over-the-counter pain medications are a tried-and-true method of pain relief. You can also place ice packs over the painful area, but be sure to rotate the ice pack on and off. Keeping ice on the area for too long can do more harm than good in the long run! Additionally, clove oil is a centuries-old remedy for tooth pain because it contains an ingredient that actively numbs pain. There are many ways you can apply clove oil, but the most effective is to simply dab a little clove oil on a cotton swab or cotton ball and apply it directly to the painful area.
What should I do to prevent future toothaches?
The best way to prevent future toothaches is to commit yourself to a thorough oral hygiene routine. You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and floss and use mouthwash once a day, making sure to follow the directions on the bottle. You should also schedule a regular checkup with Dr. Staley every six months or as advised, as this allows him to give your teeth a professional cleaning and an examination to catch any oral health issues early — before they become severe enough to cause you pain.
You can also adjust your diet to cut down on cavity-causing snacks. Instead, include more healthy fruits and vegetables in your diet, especially between meals, and drink more water instead of sugary or acidic drinks like soda. Knowing the signs of dental issues that can lead to tooth pain, such as the link between bleeding gums and gum disease, can also help you detect trouble ahead of time and get treatment for oral health issues earlier. This saves you from the pain and expense that often comes with more serious dental health issues.
Tackle your tooth pain with ease.
Toothaches are far more than simply uncomfortable or painful. Your tooth pain is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right, so the best thing you can do is listen to it. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the sooner you can get back to living a healthy, pain-free life. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, take the first steps toward this goal by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Staley today.