Tooth Pain: The decision to visit a dentist for a toothache can be difficult for many adults, mainly because they can neither comprehend the reason behind it nor locate the exact point of discomfort if it’s deep inside the mouth.
Although some issues can be resolved by simply changing your daily routine, others are complex and might need medical attention. This article offers guidance and knowledge to better position you to decide when it’s time to visit a dentist for tooth pain.
Your tooth pain is a sign.
Pain is usually an indicator or a warning that something is wrong in your mouth, either with your teeth or the gums. This pain can persist long-term without known reasons or may arise temporarily because of sensitivity to hot or cold edibles.
If you experience pain because of a cavity or infection, it lasts for more than 48 hours and worsens with time. These issues should be taken to a dentist urgently. If you are in Sydney, visiting a professional dentist in Meadowbank would be a good idea because of the availability of emergency dental services.
Other signs that warrant a medical checkup.
Some people avoid going to the dentist for minor issues, but pain and other indicators are clear signs that urgent medical attention is needed. Some of the most common signs should prompt a visit to the dentist include:
- Frequent pains for longer durations.
- Occurrence of swelling around the face or jaw.
- Redness around the gums.
- Bleeding gums.
- Fever or ear ache.
- Feeling dry eyes or mouth.
- Feeling unwell due to your tooth pain.
What if you can’t see your dentist straight away?
If you can’t make it to your dentist right away, make sure that you have an appointment in place. In the interim, you can do the following:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water; it gives temporary pain relief.
- Use a cold compress against the pain point.
- Call your dentist’s clinic and ask them about pain relief methods that you can try at home.
- Take pain relief medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen. (Remember, aspirin is not recommended in dental emergencies as it can increase bleeding in the area).
- If the pain is excruciating, consider seeing another dentist that is available on a short notice.
What is causing your toothache?
Although you need a doctor for an accurate diagnosis, it’s helpful to know some common causes of tooth pain. These include:
Breakdown of tooth enamel
If your tooth enamel breaks down, the underneath nerve endings get exposed, leading to sensitivity and pain. Because a tooth functions differently and can’t recreate new cells like skin, it will ultimately need the care of a dentist to evaluate your toothache for long-term relief and a suitable course of treatment.
Our saliva has acid-producing bacteria, which can grow disproportionately due to poor nutrition and cause slow tooth decay, resulting in toothaches. Scheduled visits to your dentist are suggested to prevent further tooth decay.
Gingivitis is gum inflammation and the result of too much plaque building up on your teeth. It can cause bleeding of the gums, and ultimately lead to more serious gum disease such as periodontitis and tooth loss.
Some people have sensitive teeth because of poor oral hygiene and bad eating habits. This can make cold or hot drinks and food cause discomfort to your teeth.
Some additional causes of toothaches include:
- Loose fillings
- Dental abscess
- Cracked tooth
- Pulp friction
- Sinus infection
How will the dentist treat your pain?
Depending on the reason of tooth pain, your dentist will adopt different treatment methods. If the issue is minor — like a small cavity — a simple filling will do the job. However, if the decay is more wide and goes deep into your tooth, a root canal might be needed to fix the pain.
If the issue is related to periodontitis, the dentist will advise regular flossing and brushing and may order further dental exams.
For broken, chipped, or cracked teeth, the dentist will attempt to first repair and seal the tooth. If the injury is beyond repair, the tooth might have to be removed.
These are just some examples of possible treatments for tooth pain. The ideal treatment for your pain will be determined by the dentist, so make sure to seek dental care as soon as possible.