Toothache is a very common condition, which affects us all at some point in our lives. Most people experience mild toothache, but sometimes toothache can be very severe and this usually requires emergency dental treatment.
What are the causes of toothache?
Toothache is a general term, which is often used to describe any pain in the jaw and face. The most common cause of toothache is inflammation of the pulp; the pulp is the inner portion of the tooth, which contains the nerves and blood vessels. When the pulp becomes inflamed, this often contributes to tooth pain. The pulp may become inflamed as a result of the formation of dental cavities, fractures or damage to the teeth or gum recession; sometimes toothache can also be caused as a result of damage to fillings.
In children, toothache may also be caused by teething and the development and eruption of new teeth.
What are the symptoms?
Obviously, the most common symptom of toothache is pain in the mouth or face. However, other symptoms may also develop: these include increased sensitivity, bleeding gums, swelling in the jaw and around the teeth and increased pain when chewing. Some people experience acute pain, while others have a constant throbbing pain.
Dealing with toothache
If you have toothache, you should arrange to see your dentist as soon as possible. Don’t leave it, thinking that it will go away, as it will probably just get worse and the pain could be symptomatic of a more serious condition. While you wait to see your dentist, you can take over the counter painkillers to ease the pain.
The treatment for toothache depends on the cause of the pain. In many cases, toothache is attributed to decay and your dentist will treat this by removing the decayed tissue in the tooth and fill the area with a filling. If your toothache is associated with damage to the filling, your dentist will usually take out the old filling, clean the cavity and replace it with a new filling. If your pain is caused by an infection in the pulp, you may need to have root canal treatment.
How to prevent toothache
Most of us will experience toothache at some point in our lives but there are steps we can take to try and reduce the risk of tooth pain. The most important and effective way of preventing all oral health problems is to adopt and stick to a good daily oral hygiene routine. This should include brushing the teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing and using mouthwash on a regular basis. The other way to increase the chances of enjoying good oral health is visiting the dentist for regular check-ups. This means your dentist can keep an eye on any developing conditions and treat them before they get any worse. You can also reduce the risk of toothache by eating healthily and restricting the amount of sugary and acidic foods you eat and arranging to see a dentist as soon as you experience toothache or other symptoms of oral health problems.
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