How To Deal With A Toothache: A Step-by-Step Guide
January 24, 2023
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Toothaches can be incredibly painful, even debilitating. At Dental Haus, we often see the results of how a severe toothache can interfere with your daily life by disrupting concentration, affecting eating habits and impacting your physical and mental health.
No matter if you’re experiencing severe pain or a dull, ongoing toothache, you should prioritise making an appointment, and we’ll do our best to see you as soon as possible. If the pain is minor or you’re waiting to see a dentist, here are several steps you can follow at home to help alleviate pain.
Try to Identify the type of toothache
Toothaches have various causes, including cavities, infection, impacted teeth, or abscessed teeth. It’s important to try to identify the type of toothache you have in order to properly look after yourself before you get in the dentist chair.
A dull, persistent ache is a common type of pain, often caused by debris lodged between your teeth or stuck in your gums, teeth grinding or an abscessed tooth.
Teeth sensitivity can indicate various issues. If the pain is mild and fleeting, it may be caused by worn-down enamel. In this case, consider using sensitivity toothpaste and avoid hot and cold foods. More painful sensitivity can be caused by tooth decay, cracks/fractures, exposed roots, worn fillings or gum disease. These need to be addressed by a dentist.
Sharp or jabbing pain suggests a loose filling or crown. Other causes include fractures, decay, cavities or wear.
Other indications that you should see a dentist more urgently include severe, throbbing pain, discoloured or bleeding gums or a strange taste in your mouth.
If you’re not sure what type of pain you’re experiencing, try to ease your pain with the following before your dentist appointment.
Clean your teeth
Keeping your teeth clean will prevent further infection or decay from occurring and will make any treatment more effective. Brush twice daily with toothpaste and floss regularly to remove any food particles that may be lodged in between your teeth or beneath your gums.
Rinse with warm salt water
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will help reduce inflammation, reduce bacteria build-up, and free trapped food particles. Mix one teaspoon of salt into one cup of warm water. Then swish the mixture around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.
Avoid agitating foods
If you’re suffering from a toothache, it’s best to avoid eating or drinking anything that may irritate the area; this includes acidic beverages such as orange juice or soda, as well as food that is overly spicy, crunchy or chewy. Continue drinking water to stay hydrated.
Apply an ice pack
Applying an ice pack to your cheek over the affected area will reduce swelling and provide temporary relief from the pain. Hold the pack in place at regular intervals throughout the day and remove if it causes any further pain. Make sure you don’t apply pressure directly onto the teeth as this could cause further damage. A cold wet cloth can also be used as a substitute if the area is too sensitive.
Over-the-counter pain relief
For further pain relief, you may want to consider taking over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. These will help reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief from pain until you’re able to see a dentist for further treatment. Follow directions for recommended doses and speak to your doctor for advice if required.
Visit Your Dentist
Whatever your pain levels, it’s always best to speak to a dentist for treatment and advice. Don’t wait until the situation becomes unbearable before seeking professional help.
If you’re currently experiencing a toothache and need a dentist on the Gold Coast ASAP, you can call us at Dental Haus in Palm Beach now on (07) 5521 0536 so we can get you back on track and smiling again soon.