Anyone who has suffered from toothache knows how severe the pain can be.
If you do experience toothache, it can be a sign of something else that needs attention in your mouth.
This can be the result of multiple contributing factors including:
- Tooth decay
- Tooth fracture
- Damaged or poorly placed fillings
- Reactions to chewing
- Infected gums or gum disease
Although we know we can prevent many instances of dental problems through basic but thorough oral hygiene care (regular flossing, brushing and use of mouthwash) we cannot ever fully avoid the risk of toothache.
However, there are ways to lessen and treat the pain:
- Over the counter medication: pain-killers and anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen can be used to help you get through the pain.
- Medical relief gel: Bonjela or Orajel can also be used to numb pain which is hard to endure.
- Avoid foods of extreme temperatures since your teeth will be more sensitive
- Garlic holds a chemical named ‘allicin’ which acts as a natural antibiotic and can help to fight tooth infection. If you include more garlic in your diet, you can decrease the likelihood of infection.
How severe does my toothache need to be before I see a dentist?
You should be able to make an informed decision about when your pain is severe enough that you should visit a dentist.
If the pain is felt over a prolonged period of time then it is likely to be the sign of another oral health issue, whereby you should book an appointment with your dentist to identify what the problem is.
You should see a dentist if:
- Over the counter pain relief does not work
- If you have a tooth removed and experience severe pain even two days after the removal – which may mean the tooth socket is not healing properly
- If you experience fever, which can be another sympton of infection or indicate the presence of an abscess which may require antiobiotics or drainage
How do dentists treat toothache?
At your appointment, your dentist will carry out a dental evaluation to identify what the problem is and the best treatment to reduce your pain or heal your issue.
Sometimes the dentist will carry out X-Rays to decipher what is wrong.
It may be that you simply need a deep clean, in order to remove harmful plaque and bacteria that can be trapped in the mouth.
If your pain is a result of infection, the dentist will recommend the best treatment to heal this.
Although the pain can at times be unbearable, it is important not to use numerous over the counter medications or rinses because this can prolong the issues.
Get in contact with your dentist if you do suffer from toothache, and if the pain comes on intensely and severely they should be able to organise an emergency appointment so you are treated immediately.
Medically reviewed & updated on December 8, 2021