We have all encountered dental pain at least once in our lives, and while it’s annoying, it can be a symptom of a more serious issue. However, at-home remedies and over-the-counter pills can only do so much to stop the pain.
Sometimes, a trip to the doctor is the only thing that can spare us more trouble. So what do we do when it feels like a toothache is taking over our life? How do we know when we are dealing with a dental emergency?
Being aware of what you are dealing with is important when looking to treat aches of all sorts. From symptoms to treatment, here is everything you need to know about dental pain.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dental Pain?
While most dental pain symptoms are obvious, there are others that can be harder to pinpoint. But knowing the causes and possible symptoms of dental pain can help you and your walk-in dentist.
Signs of dental pain include aching or throbbing sensations in the teeth that can be transient or chronic. While some types of dental pain occur only when you chew, others are a permanent inconvenience. Other symptoms related to dental pain include headaches, swollen gums, or drainage in the case of infections.
Why Are You Experiencing Dental Pain?
Dental pain is usually caused by problems with the teeth or jaw. However, if we look deeper into the issue, we will learn that there are several categories of causes:
A broken tooth or chipped tooth can cause dental pain. The same applies to damaged crowns or fillings — both contribute to pain.
If plaque erodes the enamel surface of your tooth, the dental nerves get exposed, leading to pain.
Plaque that remains beneath the gum can damage the bone that supports your tooth and the root as well. The result is a loosened and painful tooth.
Gum and tooth decay can lead to abscess formation which in turn causes pain and infections.
Crooked or misaligned teeth can cause uneven pressure in the mouth, which in time will lead to pain.
Constantly grinding your teeth can wear them down and expose the sensitive layers.
Sinus Pain Infection
A sinus infection will cause pain in the teeth as a result of the pressure created by the fluid-filled sinuses.
What Can You Do About Dental Pain?
Once you have figured out the causes of your dental pain, it’s time to get rid of it. Depending on the impact it has on your life, you can either try at-home remedies or go straight to an emergency dentist. However, it’s important to know that pain is usually a sign of a deeper issue which can lead to further damage if ignored.
How to Relieve Dental Pain
If you are unable to go to an emergency dental care center, you can use painkillers or other over-the-counter medications to relieve the pain and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Another common way to treat dental pain is to gargle salt water as it removes bacteria and helps reduce swelling. Simply add half a teaspoon of salt to warm water and gargle it for five to seven seconds. Just be careful not to swallow the salt water.
Ice can also help numb the pain as long as you don’t apply it directly to your tooth. All you need to do is place a cold compress or ice pack against your cheek.
How to Stop Dental Pain
While most at-home treatments can temporarily relieve the pain, the only way to get rid of it is to get professional help. A dentist is able to decide if you require emergency dental services and will take the necessary steps to fix any problems.
The first thing any dentist will do is to take a closer look inside your mouth. If they suspect that you have deeper undetected issues, you might be required to get an X-ray. After the diagnosis is complete, the dentist will decide what needs to be done about your dental pain.
Most of the time, a filling or root canal therapy is enough to get rid of the pain. However, things get more complicated if you are dealing with gum disease or severe tooth trauma. In those cases, tooth extraction or removal of plaque might be the only way to stop the pain.
When Should You See a Dentist?
Experiencing pain or discomfort for more than two days is a red flag, and you should call your dentist immediately. You should do the same if you notice pain in your ear or if you have a fever. In short, anything out of place in and around your mouth may require a trip to your doctor.
No matter if you feel pain or not, you should give your dentist a visit at least twice per year for a routine check. And while COVID-19 is a real threat, a recent report, that you can read here, found that the COVID-19 rate among dentists is less than one per cent.
Taking Care of Our Teeth
Although dental pain can sometimes be inevitable, there are a few things we can do to lower its frequency:
- Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth
- Don’t neglect your tongue and gently brush it every day
- Use fluoride toothpaste as it protects against tooth decay
- Avoid sugary and acidic foods
- Drink more water as it negates the effects of sticky and acidic foods
- Visit your dentist at least once every month
- Consider using mouthwash to eliminate bacteria
- Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables to strengthen your jaw
All in all, dental pain is so common that some have gotten used to it. As a result, few people actually decide to visit the dentist when needed. However, ignoring the pain and trying to handle it yourself can have devastating effects on your oral health.
Therefore, you should call your doctor as soon as you experience the slightest discomfort, no matter the intensity. And next time you find yourself choosing between a doctor and at-home treatments, remember — 10 minutes at the dentist will spare you hours of pain and many sleepless nights.