Nothing ruins your day quite as quickly as a toothache. It feels like your gums are pounding and your tooth is throbbing. What should you do in this situation? First things first, you should call your emergency dentist in Tyler and let them know what’s going on. Until you can see them, there are a few home remedies you can try for short-term relief.
Why Do You Have a Toothache in the First Place?
The most common reason for tooth pain is good old-fashioned tooth decay, also known as cavities. This occurs when bacteria eat through the enamel to reach the sensitive inner portions of the tooth. If your toothache has progressed from a dull ache to a distractingly sharp pain, the decay may have reached the nerve in the center of the tooth. At this point, a root canal may be necessary.
Another reason for toothaches is tooth fractures. Teeth can become chipped or cracked for all sorts of reasons, like falling, playing sports, or eating something super crunchy. If you’re experiencing pain in a fractured tooth, that means the fracture has made its way to the center of the tooth where the nerve lies.
Gum disease might also be to blame for your toothache. This is a bacterial infection in the gum tissue that causes bad breath, swelling, and red or bleeding gums, among other things. In the more advanced stages, it also causes gums to recede from the teeth, exposing the root of the tooth, which is extremely sensitive and may cause pain when exposed to hot or cold stimuli.
What Does Your Dentist Recommend for Pain Relief?
When you have a toothache, you should contact your emergency dentist right away. If you can’t get to them for a while, however, there are a few things you can do in the meantime:
- Saltwater rinse: Mix half a teaspoon of table salt with an eight-ounce glass of water and swish that solution around in your mouth. Spit it out, don’t swallow it.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: Most dentists would recommend acetaminophen for children. For adults, take your pick of store-bought painkillers. Just be sure that if you use aspirin, swallow it instead of placing it directly on your sore tooth. Direct contact may end up exacerbating the pain.
- Cold compress: If your toothache is due to a chipped tooth, a cold compress might help. Apply it to the appropriate cheek for 20 minutes at a time.
As mentioned earlier, calling your emergency dentist is the first step when you have a toothache. But in the meantime, follow the steps listed above to keep your pain at bay.
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury has worked in the dental field for 44 years and counting, ever since earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Baylor College of Dentistry. Now he practices at Stansbury Dental in Tyler, TX, where he loves interacting with every patient who walks through his doors. If you call his office with a dental emergency, his team will see you the same day you call. If you have a severe toothache and need relief in the Tyler area, contact Dr. Stansbury here or call (903) 561-1122.