The most common cause of toothache is any injury of the gums and teeth that has led to inflammation of the pulp inside the tooth. If left untreated, the pulp dies and becomes infected, leading to the formation of a dental abscess.
Most often toothache comes from:
- Dental decay
- Fracture of the tooth
- Cracked tooth which may be invisible and can be difficult to detect
- Irritation of the pulp following dental treatment
- Exposed tooth root which can occur if the gums recede because of damage caused by over-vigorous brushing.
- Abscess in the gum (lateral periodontal disease)
- Ulceration of the gums (acute ulcerative gingivitis)
- Ulceration of the soft tissue can sometimes be mistaken for toothache or tooth problem
- Inflammation of the gum around a tooth which is growing/breaking though (pericoronitis)
- Inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis) can be mistaken for a toothache in the upper jaw
The pain can progress from sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet stimuli to throbbing and continuous.
What you can do at home:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water every hour or as needed to reduce pain.
- Floss your teeth, and then run a toothpick around the gum line to remove debris that’s lodged under the gum.
- If you’ve lost a filling or crown, dip a cotton swab in clove oil and place on the exposed part of the tooth. Clove oil, available in pharmacies or supermarkets, works well to relieve tooth pain. You also can use an anesthetic such as Anbesol.
- Putting an ice pack on your face over the area that hurts also reduces the pain. Apply the ice for 10-20 minutes every hour, as needed.
NEVER put Aspirin against the gums near the aching tooth, because it may burn the gum tissue.
Medicine to buy without a prescription:
- Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):
- Ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin
- Naproxen, such as Aleve or Naprosyn
- Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle or box.
- Do not take more than the recommended dose.
- Do not take a medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
- If you have been told to avoid a medicine, call you doctor before you take it.
- If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other than acetaminophen unless your doctor told you to.
Call Urgent Dental Care at 314-423-0000 for an appointment.