Most of us have probably had a toothache at one point in our lives. Here’s what you should do if it happens to you now!
Toothaches can be caused by many different things. The most common causes include:
- Tooth decay – All teeth have nerves, but they are usually protected by enamel – the outer layer of your teeth. Cavities and decay will eventually expose nerve endings hidden in the inner layer of your tooth (the dentine).
- Gum disease – Gingivitis will, if left untreated, damage your teeth and the bone that supports your teeth. It will eventually lead to losing the tooth.
- Dental trauma – Teeth that get damaged, chipped or cracked can leave the inner layers of your teeth vulnerable to pain and infections.
- Teeth grinding (bruxism) – Both sleep bruxism and awake bruxism will cause your teeth to wear down over time. In bad cases, it can expose your sensitive dentine.
- Misaligned teeth – Misaligned teeth can cause pressure on other teeth elsewhere in the mouth. This can be corrected with braces.
- Wisdom teeth – As we all know, they’re not as smart as they sound. Wisdom teeth can sometimes crash into your other teeth instead of erupting out of your gums. This can be very painful.
What should I do if I have a toothache?
The feeling of pain is your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong. It is definitely not something you should ignore.
The first thing you should do is make an urgent appointment with your dentist. You can book an appointment with Cairns Precision Dental Group online or call 07 4054 2203.
In the event that you can’t get an appointment straight away, here are some general tips that may help you out temporarily:
Gently rinse with salt water
Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water, and rinse your mouth – don’t swallow! This will help remove some of the bacteria from your mouth, and can help with swelling as well.
Take over-the-counter painkillers
Take pain relief as required if the pain is distracting you or keeping you from falling asleep. Panadol, Ibuprofen and Aspirin all work just fine. Follow appropriate dosage guidelines.
Ice, ice baby
Toothaches can have heightened sensitivity to high or low temperatures, so you should not apply ice directly to the affected area. Instead, place a cold compress to the outside of your cheek. Make your own by putting ice cubes in a plastic bag and wrapping it in a clean, thin towel.
This will help numb the pain and reduce some of the swelling you may be experiencing.
Change your diet
You will want to avoid eating any hard or crunchy foods for a while. Changing to a soft food diet may be a good idea, and you should avoid drinks that are too hot or too cold.
You’ll need to see a dentist if you want advice that is more specific to your problem. Book an appointment with us online or call 07 4054 2203.