Have you been hard at work recently when a sudden sharp pain shoots through your mouth? Or, alternately, have you been going about daily life for several weeks now with a dull, persistent pain in your mouth? Toothaches can range from feeling intolerable to just being a minor annoyance. However, if you allow oral pain to linger for too long, you could be putting yourself at risk of developing serious dental problems down the road. Before pushing through the pain for yet another week, consider the advice below from a dentist in Lawrenceville on how to handle a toothache.
When to Worry About a Toothache
A toothache can signify a serious health issue. If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms related to a toothache, you should go to a dentist or doctor as soon as you can:
- A toothache has persisted for more than 1 or 2 days
- A toothache is causing extreme pain
- You have an earache or feel pain whenever you open your mouth
- You are experiencing extreme body temperatures, such as a fever or chills
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, do not wait to see a dentist or doctor.
What Causes a Toothache?
Severe tooth pain can be the result of many causes. Here are just a few of the most common sources of toothaches:
- Cavity or Tooth Decay – If a cavity develops and is not treated in time, it can cause serious pain in your mouth. Talk to your dentist as soon as possible about filling a cavity, or your toothache may only get worse with time.
- Gum Disease – Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, also known as gingivitis. If you have gum disease, your gums can become inflamed and easily bleed, and you may also experience tooth pain.
- Dental accident – Getting accidentally smacked in the face while participating in sports can easily lead to a toothache.
- Cracked Tooth – A tooth can crack from biting on hard foods or ice, poor oral hygiene or a misaligned bite. Regardless, a cracked tooth can be extremely painful. Depending on the severity of the crack, your dentist may suggest a root canal as a remedy.
What to do When You Have a Toothache
If you are experiencing severe tooth pain, your first step should be to schedule an appointment with a dentist. However, even before you make it to the dentist’s office you should follow these simple recommendations:
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
- Apply a cold compress or bag of ice
- Make a record of the pain to give to your dentist. Try to note things such as how long the pain has occurred, if there is an obvious hole, whether your tooth is sensitive to hot, cold or sweet, etc.
- Keep your teeth clean – if your tooth pain is caused by damage from poor oral hygiene, brushing your teeth and flossing every day could even cure your toothache.
Toothaches may seem like only a minor annoyance, but they can easily signify or develop into major dental trouble. If you are experiencing persistent tooth pain, follow the recommendations above to know when to visit a dentist in Lawrenceville.
About the Author
Dr. Bruce E. Carter has been helping patients achieve and maintain healthy smiles for over 30 years. A graduate of the University of Florida College of Dentistry, he has since taken numerous continuing education courses on advanced cosmetic dentistry procedures and how to treat complex dental problems. If you currently suffering from a toothache, contact Dr. Carter today via his website or by calling the office at 770-995-7616.