What’s Causing Your Toothache?

February 26, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drmedaugh @ 3:07 am

Woman with hand on her face from painNothing can interrupt your day quicker than a toothache. Despite what you might have heard, an occasional toothache isn’t normal. It’s actually a sign of a larger underlying problem. The type of pain you’re having can be a symptom of many issues. Your emergency dentist will pinpoint the source of your discomfort to create a personalized treatment plan. Here’s what’s behind the most common causes of tooth pain and how to manage it until you see your dentist.

Tooth Sensitivity

Does drinking a hot cup of coffee or eating an ice cream cone cause a sudden twinge of pain? Tooth sensitivity can make you pucker your lips when having hot or cold foods and drinks. Inhaling cool air can also trigger temporary discomfort. 

Sensitivity is a common symptom of weakened enamel or tooth decay; however, fractures or exposed tooth roots can also cause it. 

A Dull, Lingering Ache

A persistent toothache can result from an ongoing problem, like grinding or clenching your teeth. An object stuck in your gums or between your teeth can also cause a lingering ache.

A Sharp Pain

Placing pressure on a certain tooth can create a jolt of pain. Breaks or fractures can cause serious discomfort when biting or chewing. Failing fillings, crowns, or other restorations can also be the culprit.

Severe, Throbbing Pain

Pain that just won’t go away often results from an infection deep within the tooth. The throbbing sensation will continue unless the tooth is treated with a root canal.

Managing a Toothache at Home

Some sources of tooth pain are minor,  while others can put you at risk of losing your tooth. Don’t try to wait out your discomfort or a small issue can turn into a big problem. Contact your dentist right away for an appointment.

It can be difficult to focus on anything else when you have dental pain, but here are a few tips to keep you comfortable until you see your dentist:

  • Watch What You Eat: Avoid any hot, cold, or acidic foods and drinks. Eat soft foods and avoid chewing with the tooth.
  • Manage Any Pain: Take an OTC pain reliever and apply a cold compress to numb the area.
  • Use Salt Water: Rinse your mouth with salt water to reduce pain and inflammation. It will also kill any bacteria in your mouth.
  • Don’t Lay Flat: Sleep with your pillow elevated to prevent blood from pooling in your head, which can cause throbbing pain.

A toothache doesn’t have to ruin your day. Don’t ignore the problem and hope it goes away. Your emergency dentist will provide the quick care you need using the latest solutions in dentistry.

About Dr. Mark D. Medaugh

Dr. Medaugh earned his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania and has regularly continued his education in many specialties, like restorative and cosmetic dentistry. He is a proud member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through our website or call (413) 289-5113 if you need an emergency dentist.

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