There are several things that can cause a toothache. One of the most common causes of a toothache is an infection caused by tooth decay. But, other things can also cause pain, such as trauma from a sports injury, an accident, or teeth grinding.
The cause of a toothache may not always be obvious without a comprehensive dental exam, and ignoring the pain may put your oral health at risk and be more expensive to treat in the future.
At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics in Falls Church, Virginia, Nathalie Phaeton, DDS, and Ki Youn Kil, DDS, are very experienced in treating dental emergencies. In this blog, they explain what you should do if you get a severe toothache.
What you should do if you have a severe toothache
A severe toothache can be a sign of an injury or a serious oral health problem, such as advanced tooth decay, so you should never wait or put off treatment. Call Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics to schedule a dental emergency.
If your toothache isn’t severe, you should still schedule an appointment, especially if it lasts for more than a day or two. If a toothache is caused by an oral health problem, such as a cavity or gum disease, putting off treatment may make the problem worse and more costly to treat in the future. Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) can also result in tooth loss.
Other factors that can cause a toothache include bruxism (teeth grinding) and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Teeth can also become sensitive over time from enamel erosion or gum damage/recession.
Even if a toothache seems minor, you still shouldn’t ignore it. Tooth damage and oral health problems aren’t always visible to the naked eye and may not have obvious symptoms. If it’s been more than six months since your last dental checkup and cleaning, schedule an appointment as soon as possible to rule out any underlying problems.
How to manage a toothache while you wait for your appointment
As noted, if your toothache is severe, give us a call and we’ll get you in right away. Do note, however, if you’ve been in an accident and have suffered trauma to your jaw or head, you should seek immediate emergency treatment first.
Until you’re able to see us, there are a number of things you can do to help relieve the pain and make yourself more comfortable. For example, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever. You could also rinse your mouth with salt water. Furthermore, you could wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it over the affected area.
For more information about toothaches and dental emergencies, call 703-498-2440 or book an appointment online with Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics today.