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Our Tips On What To Do If You Have Toothache

Tooth pain can occur for a number of different reasons and just like with any medical ailment, understanding the pain can help us to understand the cause. Toothache can be a dull, constant pain throbbing from one particular troublesome tooth. It can also be a sharp pain that comes about very suddenly, usually as a result of a filling coming loose or a tooth becoming damaged. Sensitivity to hot and cold can also be a factor which usually suggests that the tooth enamel is wearing down, providing the nerves inside your tooth with less shielding. It could also be a sign of gum disease if the tooth roots have become more exposed. Whatever form toothache presents itself, it’s not something to ignore and expect to get better on its own. 

Toothache can worsen if you don’t address the issue yourself. There are some steps that you can take before seeing a dentist to relieve the discomfort. We’re going to share some helpful advice on what you can do while you wait for treatment.

What causes tooth pain?

The main causes of tooth pain have to do with dental decay and gum disease. Bacteria is the chief culprit when it comes down to dental issues. That’s why the very best way to avoid tooth pain is to brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly to reduce the risk of bacteria causing more serious issues. 

The main causes behind tooth pain are:

  • Dental cavities and decay

  • Gum disease

  • Impacted wisdom teeth

  • Bite problems

  • Misalignment

  • Rubbing braces

  • Infection and abscesses

It’s not always clear what the cause of tooth pain can be. Don’t rely on a self-diagnosis and always seek out professional advice so you can get the right treatment.

Book an appointment with your dentist

Don’t wait for your next check-up with the dentist. If you have sharp tooth pain or an ache that has been bothering you for over two days, call your dentist and arrange for an examination. Depending on the severity of the pain or whether the pain has been caused by an injury, you can be seen as a dental emergency. Either way, you should be calling your dental practice. 

At De-ientes Dental, we always aim to see patients with dental emergencies on the day they call. We’ll be on hand to help you deal with the emergency as best you can in the meantime. Even if the toothache isn’t down to an emergency, you should still contact a dentist. Any toothache is a sign that something needs addressing before it becomes a bigger issue.

Take painkillers

In most cases, you can take the edge off the pain using over-the-counter pain relief medication. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can tackle toothache, however giving relief for the pain doesn’t treat the cause. If the tooth pain doesn’t go away after you take pain relief, contact a dentist. 

Brush and floss the tooth with care

Have a good look over the tooth that’s causing you pain in the mirror. There could possibly be food particles lodged between your tooth and gum that’s causing you problems. Flossing can relieve pain in this instance and, besides, it’s a good idea to floss regularly and keep your teeth clear of food particles. We want to make sure your teeth are as clean and bacteria-free as possible - as well as pain-free!

Use a salt water rinse

It may sound strange but rinsing warm salty water around the tooth that’s the source of the pain will help. Salt water soothes the tooth and provides a better condition for healing as it increases the pH levels. Bacteria thrives in a more acidic environment so creating a more alkaline one with warm salt water will make the tooth and surrounding tissues less inflamed. If you have knocked out a tooth, have a broken filling or crown, or have an infection, salt water rinses will help manage the problem until a dentist sees you. After any oral surgery, your dentist will also advise you to use salt water to keep the area safe from bacteria and prevent risk of infection.

How to make a saltwater rinse

  • Fill a cup with warm water

  • Add around a third of a teaspoon of sea salt

  • Stir the mixture until the salt dissolves

  • Swish the salt water around your mouth for at least thirty seconds so you can get the benefit 

  • If you can, gargle the mixture to treat your throat as well. 

  • Spit out the mixture into the sink and don’t swallow.

Use ice to calm any swelling

If you notice swelling around your jaw, you’ll need to contact a dentist right away. While you wait to be seen for treatment, relieving the swelling will help with the pain. Ice compresses will numb the area while also reducing the swelling. Ice constricts the blood vessels, slowing the blood flow, and so reduces the inflammation at the area. As tooth pain tends to get worse at night, it’s best to apply a cold compress before you go to bed so you can have the best chance of an uninterrupted sleep.

Avoid chewing with the side of your mouth that hurts

It’s best to stick to soft foods if you have tooth pain. Be kind to your teeth and eat things like yoghurt and scrambled eggs while you wait to have treatment. Also aim to avoid foods and drinks that are too hot or too cold as your sore teeth are going to be super sensitive to temperature changes. 

What to do if you don’t have a dentist?

If you’ve recently moved to the area or haven’t seen a dentist in a few years, we can see you as a new patient at our clinic in Golders Green. We’re accepting new patients at De-ientes so if you have any tooth pain or teeth that are aching, get in touch and we’ll aim to see you as soon as possible. Booking your first appointment is very straight-forward with our online booking system here

Need to speak to a dentist urgently? Give us a call on 020 8731 9020. 

If you’re nervous about seeing a dentist, we completely understand. Dental phobia is very common and does get in the way of receiving the treatment that you need. At De-ientes Dental, we go above and beyond in making our practice as comfortable and relaxed as possible. We’ll always talk through our treatment with you so you’re fully aware of what to expect. If you’re in any pain or discomfort, please get in touch so we can help.


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