Dr. Michael Handler

What to do When You Have a Toothache?

By Dr. Michael Handler

Whether you woke up this morning with a throbbing pain in your tooth or you have experienced a dull ache in a molar for days, it feels terrible. Having a toothache can cause an enormous amount of pain. You would want to find relief as quickly as possible. We get a lot from patients who come in because they are dealing with toothache.

Toothache Causes: Why Does Your Tooth Hurt?

  • Damage to the teeth can be a common cause of tooth pain. Your tooth could have broken or chipped due to trauma.
  • Tooth decay is also one of the most common causes of toothache. Cavities caused by tooth decay can lead to tooth pain.
  • Sometimes tooth pain can be due to gum disease. Tooth pain from gingivitis may occur when plaque buildup causes gums to become red and swollen.
  • Tooth pain can also be caused by a sinus infection when the pressure of fluid-filled sinuses creates pain in the upper back corners of your mouth.
  • Sometimes pain felt as tooth pain can come from your jaw, and it can be caused by grinding or clenching of teeth.
  • Impacted wisdom teeth can be a cause of tooth pain and inflammation of the gums.

How to Get Rid of Tooth Pain?

If your tooth pain lasts more than a day or it is very severe, it is recommended you see an emergency dentist right away. A dentist can diagnose the cause of your tooth pain based on a dental examination, or x-rays may be needed to identify the exact nature and location of your tooth pain.

While you wait to see the dentist, you can try over-the-counter painkillers or anti-inflammatory medication if your gums are swollen. Apply a cold compress to your jaw depending on where the toothache is. Sometimes swishing your mouth with saltwater also provides temporary relief. As these can only provide temporary relief, it is important to see a dentist and find out the cause of your tooth pain so the problem doesn't become worse over time.

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