Toothaches: When are They Serious?

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Most people will experience a toothache, and whether it be minor or come with debilitating pain, it’s something you should get checked out. If you’ve had a toothache, you know how painful it can be. Sometimes it can be caused by food left lodged between your teeth, however, it could also be caused by something more serious like an infection. Keep reading to learn more about toothaches and when they can be signaling something more serious.

What is a Toothache? 

Toothaches happen, and most everyone will experience a toothache at one point or another. A toothache is caused by pain or inflammation in or around the tooth. While it’s often caused by tooth decay or infection, sometimes your tooth hurts due to something that just happened. Mayo Clinic says that common causes of toothaches can include:

  • Accumulation of food and debris between your teeth
  • Inflammation or infection in the gums
  • Trauma to the tooth from injury
  • Sudden fracture of tooth or root
  • A split in tooth 
  • Teeth that start to erupt through the gums (teething or wisdom teeth that outgrow their space)
  • A sinus infection that can be felt as pain in teeth
  • Grinding your teeth 

While these are common causes, there are a variety of conditions that could cause you tooth pain. If you’re concerned about how you’re feeling, come see us! We’ll work to find the root cause and get your smile healthy again.

Symptoms of a Toothache

While everyone is different, WebMD notes that common toothache symptoms are:

  • Sharp, consistent, and throbbing tooth pain
  • Pain that is brought on by applying pressure to the tooth
  • Fever or headache
  • Foul-tasting drainage coming from tooth 
  • Trouble breathing or swelling 

Additional symptoms like temperature sensitivity can also be an irritating sign that something is wrong with your tooth. 

When is a Toothache Serious? 

You should see the dentist if you have had a toothache that has lasted longer than 1-2 days. Additionally, if the toothache is severe or you find that you also have a fever, earache, or jaw pain, you should call us immediately for an evaluation. 

Can You Take Care of Toothaches On Your Own?

When it comes to resolving toothache pain, it’s important to find the cause at the root of the pain. Once you have an idea of what’s causing it, you can try to relieve the pain on your own. If you can’t get to the dentist right away, here are some tips for soothing your toothache pain:

  • Do a warm water rinse
  • Salt water rinsing – salt is a natural disinfectant and can help reduce swelling 
  • Rinse with hydrogen peroxide as it can kill bacteria and help heel bleeding gums 
  • Place a tea bag on the problem area, as they can be used to numb pain
  • Gently use dental floss to try and remove any food or plaque that’s caught between the teeth 
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to dull ache 
  • Apply cold compress outside the tooth on the cheek 
  • Place a small amount of clove oil on a cotton ball then apply to painful area 

Who’s at Risk for Toothaches? 

Unfortunately some people are more likely to have dental problems than others, but usually it’s those with underlying health issues. If you have diabetes, a weak immune system, dry mouth, or TMJ, you’re more at risk for toothaches. Along with those conditions, women have an increased risk when they’re pregnant due to fluctuating hormones. 

It’s important to talk with your dentist about your health history and learn what your risk for toothaches and other dental problems are. This will help get to the root cause of the problem and treat that, not just the uncomfortable symptoms. 

See the Dentist

It is important to see the dentist regularly to help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Even if you’ve never had a problem, you need to see your dentist regularly. Sometimes you can’t see areas of your mouth that us here at the dentist can, so when we take a look in your mouth at your appointment we can catch areas that might cause problems. At every checkup you’ll get a consultation with Dr. Varley to review your past and current medical history. Checkups can help any problems you’re currently experiencing, but they can also prevent certain problems from happening. 

Call Us

We’re committed to keeping you healthy. If you don’t see your specific toothache symptom listed here, don’t worry! We’re here to help you find the cause of your problem so we can treat it and get you back to prime health in no time. Call us today at (303)-872-7907 to make an appointment today. Don’t let a toothache keep you down! 

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