Toothaches are a painful experience, no matter how tough you are. They drive grown men to tears and can last for days or weeks without remedy as a dull ache, but as easy as it might be to slather some Orajel or other numbing agent on there and forget about it, toothaches can point to a variety of dental emergencies, some may be more pressing than others.
If you have a persistent toothache, it’s important to consult with a Camden dentist to prevent further damage to your teeth and further pain and discomfort, although you may need to wait for a consultation. If the pain is severe enough to prevent you from going about your daily life, you must consult an emergency dentist in Camden as soon as possible.
Toothaches can sometimes occur without warning as a result of decay in the affected tooth, or they can be as a result of an oral injury like a sudden impact trauma (fall, car accident, etc.), where the tooth has become dislodged from the gumline slightly, or as a result of persistent oral health issues like gingivitis. Some of the most common causes of achy teeth include:
- Advanced periodontal (gum) disease, causing advanced tooth decay. Periodontal disease can occur for various reasons, including injury to your gums, pregnancy, genetic predispositions and poor dietary choices.
- A broken tooth is another possibility for those suffering from persistent toothache. Sometimes, you break or chip a tooth without even realising it. This can be done by grinding your teeth during sleep or biting hard on a granola bar. Broken teeth can lead to holes where food debris can enter the cavity and cause tooth decay, causing painful toothache.
- Bacterial tooth infections, known as periapical tooth abscesses, occur when bacteria in the mouth enter the ‘pulp’ of a tooth. These fine membranes are the innermost layer of your tooth and contain nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. These abscesses and infections can cause some of the most severe toothache.
If left untreated, toothaches will get worse and worse, with ever-increasing pain levels and an ever-increasing risk of greater oral health problems. Be sure to visit your dentist in Camden as soon as possible, rather than ‘toughing it out’ or putting it off because it comes and goes.
Tips for Emergency Dental Care
However, it’s not always financially or practically possible to get to an emergency dentist in Camden, so how can you manage your toothache at home while you wait for an appointment? Now, most dentists will try and squeeze you in as soon as possible if you call up in agony from a toothache, but in the meantime, here are some practical tips for managing that toothache pain at home.
1. Rinse with Warm, Salty Water
One of the best and easiest remedies for temporary pain relief is rinse your mouth with warm, salty water for 30 seconds to a minute.
Salt acts as an alkaline in your mouth, neutralising the acidic environment in which the bacteria causing your toothache thrive. It increases the pH balance in your mouth while providing a cleaning effect. Always spit the salt water out once you’re done rinsing. Never swallow it!
2. Pain Relief Meds
Although not from a Camden dentist’s office, it is possible to get pain relief medication over the counter from your local pharmacist. These are specifically anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen, ibuprofen, or an anti-sceptic and numbing agent sold as Orajel, which works by applying it directly to the affected area with a clean (preferably gloved) finger.
3. Avoid Hot or Cold Food
Many toothaches are caused by deep cavities or bacterial infections resulting in exposed nerve endings ignited by touch, either with an object, your tongue or with extremely hot or cold foods. So, do your best to avoid dense hot or cold food that could come into contact with the exposed nerve endings, causing shooting pain.
Soup is a good supplement during extreme tooth pain or chewing on the opposite side of your mouth if you have to eat solid foods.
4. Use Cold Compresses
We’ve just told you to avoid the cold like the plague if you’re dealing with a toothache. However, if your toothache is associated with swelling (you can confirm this visually by inspecting the area in the bathroom mirror), then a cold compress on the outside of your cheek sometimes helps. Cold helps numb the area and reduce inflammation and swelling.
However, suppose your toothache is not associated with periodontal disease (among the most common causes of swollen gums). In that case, cold compresses will do little good but could be effective if held on the jawline of the affected tooth area.
5. Keep Your Head Elevated During Sleep
Toothaches are sometimes all about pressure. When you sleep, your blood circulates through your brain and skull. Blood circulation in this area applies pressure to your teeth as the blood flows through the vessels in your mouth. This pressurisation will translate to pain in the affected tooth.
Keeping your head elevated while you sleep will cause blood to flow more slowly throughout your body, decreasing the pain you feel.
When to Seek Professional Dental Care
Generally, when dealing with toothaches, seeking professional dental care as soon as possible is always better to avoid a trip to the emergency dentist in Camden. However, you should be especially expeditious about seeking dental care if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Discolouration of your tooth or gums
- Extreme, persistent pain causing loss of daily function
- Excessive bleeding of the gums when brushing
- You notice a cracked or chipped tooth
If you have noticed a chipped or cracked tooth, it may need to be extracted, leaving you needing removable partial dentures. It is common for teeth to be cracked or knocked loose by an impact. Partial dentures may be required as a temporary measure until full dentures can be made or could be a life-long solution to missing teeth.
Importance of Regular Dental Check-ups
“Preventative maintenance” is the key phrase when talking about dental work. Not many people enjoy the dentist, but it is necessary to maintain a healthy body. Regularly scheduled (once every six months or once a year) cleanings and other checkups can prevent the onset of severe dental diseases that cause unbearable toothaches!
Dental checkups are also key for pregnant women and those with other chronic health problems like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and certain cancers. Dental checkups are also more important for smokers and those who vape, as oils, tar, nicotine and other ingredients are terrible for oral health.
Knowing how to manage the occasional, short-lived toothache is one thing, but dealing with a persistent toothache and getting that sweet, sweet pain relief is much more satisfying. Consult with a Camden dentist if you’re experiencing persistent toothaches and call to make an appointment immediately if you’ve been involved in an accident or fall that damaged your teeth.
Contact any of our Aesthetic Dental and Denture Clinic locations by phone at (02) 4655-4438 or book a consultation today.