Tooth decay often causes a toothache, but it’s not the only reason you might have pain. Lee Dental can check for:
A toothache accompanied by fever, swelling, or a discharge requires immediate attention. If the pain is constant and lasts for a long time or you have difficulty breathing or swallowing, it’s also important to seek treatment quickly.
Other toothache signs that warrant a dentist visit are pain when chewing, bright redness or bleeding around the gums, and hot and cold sensitivity. If you’ve recently had an extraction and pain seems to be getting worse at the socket or in surrounding teeth, rather than progressively getting better, you should also seek care.
The dentists will examine your mouth and teeth to see if there’s an obvious reason for your pain. X-rays may show if you have some hidden source of decay, cracked teeth, or a problem with your jawbone.
If an infection is determined to be the cause of your toothache, you’ll be prescribed antibiotics and possibly pain medications. Depending on the seriousness of decay, if there is any, you might need a root canal or extraction.
Sometimes pain is not in your teeth at all, but referred from another place. Sinus problems, as well as TMJ, throat, and ear pain may all show up as toothaches.
Use floss to check for food particles around the affected tooth. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications may help calm your pain. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to soothe the site, too. A tooth that’s been injured in an accident, such as a fall, benefits from the application of an ice pack.
Good dental hygiene helps prevent the decay that’s the primary cause of toothaches. Brush and floss regularly, and visit the dentist once or twice per year for checkups and cleanings.
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