If you have a toothache that won’t go away or any other persistent mouth pain, it’s time to see the dentist. This could be a sign of a cavity or dental infection.
You should call for an emergency appointment if you have a toothache accompanied by symptoms like fever, earache, jaw pain, or difficulty swallowing. However, if the toothache is mild and not accompanied by any other symptoms, you can wait it out and see if it improves on its own.
Read on to understand the symptoms in detail.
What Does a Toothache Indicate?
It could be a warning sign if you have sensitive teeth or a dull ache in your mouth. This sensitivity may be caused by sinus, allergy problems, or sudden elevation changes. However, these should only cause pain that lasts for a few hours. If you’re experiencing pain from a cavity or infection, it will last more than 48 hours and worsen over time.
If you don’t take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, plaque can build up and cause cavities. If the cavities are left untreated, they can spread and eventually reach the inner pulp of the tooth, which contains the nerve centre. You will need a root canal if the infection gets to this point.
Toothache Can Be a Sign of Infection or Decay
Tooth decay and infection can cause serious damage to your teeth, including weakening the tooth’s structure and increasing your risk of injuries. If a tooth is infected, the inner pulp can die, effectively killing the tooth. A tooth extraction will then be necessary to help stop the spread of infection to other surrounding teeth or into the jawbone itself. Suppose you experience persistent tooth sensitivity, toothaches, pain while chewing, or swelling. In that case, these can all be signs of an advanced cavity or an infected tooth that requires attention from a dentist as soon as possible.
At-Home Toothache Remedies to Try
A toothache can be a very painful experience, and if it strikes when you can’t see your dentist, you may feel desperate to find some pain relief. You can do a few things to ease the pain until you can get to a dentist. Consider these at-home remedies for temporary relief:
1. Gargle with Salt Water Rinse
Rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution to reduce discomfort and swelling from a toothache. Add a few teaspoons of salt to a glass of warm water and swish the mixture in your mouth for a few seconds before spitting it out. The warm water will help to ease the pain, and the salt will reduce any swelling in your gum tissue.
2. Use Cold Compress
If you have a swollen, painful tooth, holding a cold compress against the outside of your cheek can help numb the area and provide temporary relief. However, cold compresses will not address the root cause of your toothache, and you should still contact your dentist for further instructions.
3. Take OTC Pain Medications
You can do a few things at home to help ease discomfort until you can see your dentist. Taking over-the-counter pain medication can help, but following the package directions is important and not relying on medication as a long-term solution. If you have a toothache, you must see your dentist as soon as possible to get the proper treatment.
When to Call Your Dentist
If you have a toothache that persists for more than a couple of days, or it’s accompanied by other symptoms like fever, facial swelling, or pus from your gums, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. These symptoms can indicate an infection, which will require treatment. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and schedule a follow-up visit.
The TLC Dentist provides general dentistry for all ages, servicing various dental treatments like veneers, implants, root canal therapy, crown and bridge, fillings, cosmetic injectables, teeth whitening, and children’s dentistry. If you need an emergency dentist in Earlwood, we’ve got you covered! Get in touch with us to book an appointment!