Why Your Tooth Hurts and What to Do

why your tooth hurts and what to do

If you’ve ever had a toothache, I’m sure it’s something you’ll never forget. Whether it’s a constant dull ache or a sharp searing pain when chewing, by the time you get a bad toothache, it’s already too late and probably means that you should see a dentist immediately.

The Causes of Bad Toothache

The conditions that actually cause a toothache can vary widely. Gum disease, infection and grinding teeth can all contribute to toothaches. Pain can also be caused by things as innocuous as an abnormal bite and even tooth eruptions (when teeth break through the gums of infants or school-aged children)

In addition, if you have a headache accompanying your bad toothache, it could be TMD, sinus or ear infections, or simply tension in the facial muscles.

But, when it comes down to it, the primary cause of a toothache is tooth decay. The first sign of decay may be pain caused by eating something sweet or something that is very cold or very hot. This is because the inside of the tooth has tissue and nerves that can be irritated by these types of foods.

Because the symptoms of a toothache may resemble other medical conditions or dental problems, it can be difficult to diagnose the cause without a complete evaluation by your dentist.

If you notice pus near the source of the pain, your tooth may have become abscessed, causing the surrounding bone to become infected. Or the pus could indicate gum disease, which is usually characterized by inflammation of the soft tissue, bleeding gums and abnormal loss of bone surrounding the teeth.

But if you have a bad toothache with a fever, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, swelling around the tooth, pain when you bite, continuous pain, or a foul-tasting discharge – contact me or your dentist immediately! Because any of these symptoms with a toothache can mean that the problem has spread beyond your tooth.

How to Get Rid of Toothache

The fact is, the best way to avoid a toothache is by maintaining your oral health. With a healthy mouth, you can avoid many — if not all — of the problems I mentioned above. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to do: brush twice a day (two minutes each time), floss once a day, and visit your dentist every 6 months. Follow these three steps and you’ll have a healthy mouth and a bright smile for years to come.

Think of it this way; it’s much easier for you to visit your dentist every 6 months, rather than the alternative of having a searing pain shoot through your jaw and trying to schedule an emergency appointment on the weekend. Because, let’s face it, things like this always seem to happen at the most inconvenient time possible.

So, do your mouth — and yourself — a favor, take care of your teeth and schedule an appointment with your dentist every 6 months. And if you do develop a toothache, don’t wait for it to get worse. Schedule an appointment IMMEDIATELY and get the toothache pain relief you need.

-Dr. Taj

For more information, be sure to visit me or my staff at one of the three locations shown below, go to my website at modernfamilydental.com, or watch my Dental Minute videos that deal with toothaches.

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