Have a Toothache? 5 Crucial Facts to Know

Ouch, my tooth hurts!

Have you been there before? Are you experiencing it right now? Although your teeth are durable and have the potential to last a lifetime, you may still, unfortunately, experience a toothache. Other than being sure you don’t want one, what else should you know about this all-too-common condition? Discover how many of these FAQs you’re able to answer.

1. What is a toothache?

In general, it refers to pain experienced in or around your tooth or jaw. In most instances, though, it refers specifically to the condition of the tooth. Your teeth are made up of two basic parts, the crown, and the root. The root is the portion of the tooth below the gumline that encases the pulp (nerve) of the tooth. Any inflammation of the nerve results in uncomfortable warning signals that “something is not right.” In severe cases you may need a root canal.

2. What are the causes of a toothache?

The most prevalent cause for a toothache is tooth decay that has reached the pulp of the tooth. It also stems from gum disease and teeth that are pulled, abscessed (infected), fractured, damaged by trauma, or that have a compromised filling. Sometimes, though, other conditions such as TMJ issues, sinus infections, and ear pain can also present in a manner that can be misinterpreted as a toothache, when in fact the pain is originating from another source.

3. What are the typical symptoms of a toothache?

There are a number of common symptoms, but the degree to which these may be experienced can vary with each individual, and the condition of their teeth. The most common symptoms are:

  • Varying levels of pain, especially when chewing, or when introduced to hot or cold stimuli. As the infection worsens, the level of pain will increase in severity.
  • Pain can radiate to the cheek, ears, and jaw, and can result in swelling around the tooth and jaw.
  • Bleeding or bad tasting discharges from around the infected tooth or gums.
  • Headache or fever.

4. What should I do if I have a toothache?

It’s best to see Dr. Michael Giesy as soon as possible if you’ve experienced trauma to your teeth, if the toothache is quite severe, or if the symptoms of the toothache last longer than a day or two. If you can’t get to the dentist right away, avoid chewing on the pained area and limit your tooth’s exposure to extremes in hot and cold. You may also find rinsing your mouth out with warm water, using over the counter pain medications, or trying oral pain relief products can provide temporary relief.

5. How can I prevent getting toothaches?

The best way to keep your smile healthy is to brush your teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste, floss your teeth daily, limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks, avoid smoking, and visit your dentist twice a year for preventative checkups and professional cleanings. These can help you address any dental issues right at the beginning stages so you don’t necessarily have to ever experience the undesirable symptoms of a full-blown toothache.

Contact Dr. Giesy, one of the top Tacoma dentists today to learn more, and to get the much-needed assistance your smile requires to keep healthy for a lifetime. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Have a friend with a toothache? Help them out and share this information with them.

Have you ever had a toothache? Did you get dental help right away, or did you keep putting it off? Are dental issues more commonly put off than other medical issues?