For patients who have been avoiding seeing a general dentist because of fear or apprehension, it may be helpful to know that they are not alone. A 2015 study published in Dental Research Journal found that 58.8% of dental patients surveyed experienced dental anxiety. For patients with severe dental phobia, there are several steps they…
How to Deal With a Toothache
A bad toothache could be characterized by a throbbing but dull pain in your jaw. A side of your jaw and mouth may also hurt as you bite on something. And the pain will double as you drink something cold. It could come in different forms. However, all these pains and aches only have one thing in common — they might be reasons why you need to see your dentist right away.
What are the common causes of tooth decay?
Unfortunately, one cannot attribute a toothache to a single cause. Lots of things may cause a toothache. Most of the time, it is a symptom of an even bigger problem. Here are common symptoms that say one needs to see the dentist soon:
- Misaligned teeth: The patient may need orthodontic treatment if one has a crooked or improperly aligned tooth since this could apply uneven pressure on one’s mouth.
- Tooth decay: Tooth decay erodes one’s tooth’s enamel surface. Because of this, there is a high chance that this can expose the nerve endings under one’s tooth structure. This part of one’s mouth is extra sensitive and could push the pain towards the tooth center until the pulp.
- Bruxism: Also known as teeth grinding, this condition can wear one’s teeth down, exposing its sensitive mid-layers. As a result, the surrounding structures get strained.
- Gum disease: If plaque stays under the patient’s gums, it can damage the teeth-supporting bones along with the roots of one’s teeth. This could lead to the loosening and aching of the tooth.
- Impaction: If one’s teeth do not fully emerge from one’s gums, the surrounding nerves could be irritated, causing unbearable pain. This is common with one’s wisdom teeth and molars.
- Abscesses: This is often caused by gum disease and tooth decay. Bumps from alongside or below the patient’s tooth root, causing pain and spreading infection.
- Trauma: If the patient’s teeth get cracked or chipped, the pulp gets exposed, making it susceptible to infection.
How to deal with the discomfort
To deal with toothache and tooth discomfort, it is a good idea to visit the dentist right away. However, if one cannot see the dentist right away, there are ways to help one deal with the pain. These include gargling with salt water and applying a cold compress to the area. If these do not help, then the patient can try taking pain relievers.
Gargle with salt water
The good thing with salt water is that it removes the bacteria accumulated in one’s mouth, effectively reducing the swelling. The patient can add half a teaspoon of salt to lukewarm water. After dissolving the salt, the patient should gargle with salt water for five seconds, avoiding swallowing the water. If the patient is not comfortable with salt water, one can also choose to gargle with an antiseptic mouthwash that targets bacteria, viruses, fungi, including spores.
Rinse with a warm salt solution
This is an effective and natural way to end a toothache. This natural treatment can help dry up the infected areas and kill off bad bacteria. This solution can also reduce inflammation. The salt pulls out the trapped infected fluids in the soft tissues and teeth.
Take anti-inflammatory medications
Swelling around the infected, painful tooth can go away by taking anti-inflammatory medications. Inflammation resurfaces if the patient stops taking these medications. The swelling places pressure on the surrounding tissues of the tooth. Pain and inflammation can worsen and spread if the tooth infection spreads.
Take pain relievers
The patient can also purchase over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin to ease the pain. If the patient cannot sleep or has been heavily distracted because of the pain in the tooth, pain relievers are a good idea. These need to be swallowed, so patients should avoid applying them directly to the gums. The acid in the anesthetic could burn the gum tissues.
Try a cold compress
If the pain is unbearable, applying a cold compress to the painful or swollen area might also help. An ice pack or cold compress can numb the pain. Resist the urge to apply the ice directly to the tooth. That can heighten the pain, especially if one has a sensitive tooth.
Relief from toothache is possible
These home remedies are temporary relief or band-aid solutions. You should also never forget about taking preventive measures. Brush your teeth regularly and avoid food and drinks that lead to tooth decay. Visit your dentist now and then. Through this, you can prevent aches and tooth decay.
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