Oral health is imperative as it ensures overall health. Our teeth enable us to chew food which contains numerous essential nutrients. Each of these nutrients is required for overall wellbeing. If oral health and hygiene have been compromised one’s health is bound to deteriorate. On the contrary, individuals who take good care of their oral health experience overall health. Brushing twice a day followed by flossing ensures that no food residue or germs have been left behind. Common oral health issues like bad breath, yellowing teeth and build up of food residue can be corrected by following a regular oral hygiene routine.
Despite maintaining good oral hygiene some individuals are still bound to suffer from oral health issues. The most common among these issues is toothache. This is also why several individuals around the world look for help and answers regarding what to do for a toothache.
What is toothache?
Toothache refers to the pain that is felt in a tooth or in its surrounding area. The most common type of orofacial pain is toothache. Toothache is also referred to as odontalgia, odontogenic pain, dentalgia, odontodynia or simply as dental pain. The cause behind this ache may be non dental diseases or dental diseases.
The number one reason why patients visit their dentists is toothache and when the intensity of pain increases the case is considered a dental emergency. Depending upon the cause a toothache may subside entirely on its own or may require certain medication or treatment. Many patients seek emergency dental care because everyday activities such as eating, talking, and sleeping are all affected by toothache. Depending on the cause of ache processes such as filling, drainage of pus, root canal treatment and extraction are carried out. Relief from toothache lets one resume his/her normal routine, which is why reliving this pain is a priority for dentists all over the globe.
Symptoms associated with toothache
If you learn about the exact symptoms you will know exactly what to do for a toothache. Hence, you will find symptoms of toothache listed below:
- Pain in a tooth or gums which is constant, sharp or throbbing.
- Swelling of gums around the affected or aching tooth.
- Drainage from affected or infected tooth.
- Throbbing headache
Common causes of toothache
- Inflammation of dental pulp due to decaying teeth
- Dental trauma
- Exposed root surfaces
- Periodontal ligament’s inflammation
- Dental abscesses
- Dry socket due to tooth extraction
- Ulcerative gingivitis
- Tooth fracture
- Grinding teeth or chewing gum
- Infected gums
- Damaged or faulty filling
Seek medical attention immediately
A question that many individuals seem to have is what to do for a toothache? The most straightforward answer to this common question is that one should immediately visit a dentist. If your toothache is severe and more than 1 day old you should rush to your dentist’s office. Infections from a tooth can easily make their way to one’s skull and even one’s bloodstream. If the infection does in fact spread to different parts of the face and bloodstream irreversible damage occurs.
One should not self medicate as it is extremely dangerous. Only a dentist will be able to identify the cause of toothache, the extent of damage and the necessary treatment or procedures. Hence, one should not waste time guessing the cause of toothache or thinking about ways in which it can be treated. By visiting a dentist as soon as possible patients can ensure quick and full recovery.
How a dentist treats toothache
Dentists excel in oral healthcare and oral hygiene and aim to provide every patient with all round oral health and hygiene. This is precisely why their services should be entrusted. A skilled dentist will study your medical history. A physical examination will follow, after which your dentist will acquire information regarding the nature and severity of your toothache. The exact location of pain and factors that aggravate it will be probed. A thorough examination of your mouth, jaw, gums, teeth, ears, throat, sinuses, neck and nose will be carried out to discover the exact underlying cause. In some cases X-rays are required; hence if your dentist feels the need an X-ray of your jaw will be taken.
Types of treatments
The types of treatments listed below are based on the cause of toothache. Treatment options available are:
- Filling of cavity if cavity is causing toothache
- Extraction of tooth if filling the cavity is not a possibility
- If the tooth’s nerve is infected a root canal treatment is the chosen option
- If fever and swelling of the jaw are observed potent antibiotics are prescribed. Fever and swelling are caused due to bacteria which have penetrated the tooth and caused an infection.
- To reduce toothache and inflammation a cold laser known as Phototherapy is used.
Prevention is imperative
An age old adage explains the importance of prevention by explaining how it is a much better option than curing. Hence, it is recommended that individuals brush their teeth twice daily. Brushing ensures removal of food residue as well as removal of germs that stay ready to wreak havoc on an individual’s oral and overall health. Using a dental floss to clean in between teeth ensures comprehensive and amazing oral healthcare. If germs make their way into these crevices they cannot be removed simply by brushing, hence one should floss every single night. While brushing and flossing, one needs to be cautious so as not to hurt gums, teeth or roots of teeth. Also, while brushing and flossing heavy pressure should not be applied as it may damage the enamel of the teeth.
The toothpaste being used should definitely contain fluoride as it cleanses one’s teeth in an excellent manner. Fluoride application options should also be discussed with one’s dentist. Every individual should visit his/her dentist at least twice a year to keep all oral health related issues at bay. One should also receive special professional cleaning services to ensure all round oral health and hygiene.