News & Tips from Somerset Dental

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Toothaches: The Causes and Solutions

Toothaches: The Causes and Solutions

Did you know that teeth are one of the longest lasting parts of the human body? But that doesn’t mean they aren’t susceptible to decay!

Toothaches can be pesky things and they almost always escalate into ongoing pain. Our team of Narellan dentists at Somerset Dental Care examine, diagnose and treat a range of toothaches everyday. Here are some of the most common toothache causes and solutions.

1. Cavities

Tooth cavities (also known as ‘caries’) are one of the most widespread causes of toothaches, often making the teeth very sensitive when eating and chewing or when consuming hot or cold foods. Cavities occur when bacteria and plaque in the mouth transform into acid and erode tooth enamel.

The Solution: Good oral hygiene routines, like brushing and flossing twice daily, and 6-monthly checkups with your dentist are the best way to both prevent and treat cavities.

2. Diseased Tooth Pulp

Another common cause of toothaches is infected or diseased tooth pulp, which is the soft centre of the tooth consisting of tissue, nerves and other cells. When the pulp becomes infected, tooth pain can be quite severe and can only be repaired via a root canal treatment. If your infected tooth is unable to be fixed with a root canal procedure, tooth extraction may be necessary.

The Solution: Visit your local dentist immediately; they will usually examine your teeth and perform x-rays to determine if your toothache is being caused by an infected root.

3. Fractured or Cracked Tooth

Fractured, cracked, chipped or splitting teeth can sometimes go unnoticed, but they can also be quite painful. Broken teeth usually occur as a result of some kind of injury or trauma to the mouth or jaw. This can be caused by everyday things like playing sport or by other incidents, like car accidents.

The Solution: Apply a cold compress (like an icepack) to the injured area of your mouth/jaw to prevent swelling and see your dentist as soon as possible. You should also visit your dentist if you notice any differences in the feeling or shape of your teeth.

4. Gum Disease or Periodontal Disease

When cavities and other gum problems are left untreated, they will almost always lead to gum disease (Gingivitis) and more serious problems, like periodontal disease. These diseases can manifest themselves in toothaches or in sore or sensitive gums, as well as in other symptoms like inflamed/red gums, bleeding gums and receding gums.

The Solution: If you notice any of these problems or if your teeth or gums are particularly painful, make sure you improve your oral hygiene straight away and book an appointment with your dentist.

5. Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are also one of the most familiar causes of tooth pain and aches, especially as we mature into adulthood. Wisdom teeth can ache as they come through, but they can also be painful if they don’t erupt properly and become impacted or crooked.

The Solution: If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, placing an icepack on the side of your mouth can help. You should also see your dentist as soon as possible to determine how your wisdom teeth should be treated; in some cases, wisdom teeth extraction may be the best solution to prevent further pain and problems.

6. Sensitivity

Having very sensitive teeth and/or gums can also lead to toothaches or sore gums, especially when particular foods (like hot or cold foods) are consumed. This often occurs when root surfaces are exposed in the mouth.

The Solution: Using a sensitivity toothpaste is one of the most recommended solutions for sensitive teeth; if you are experiencing a lot of pain, however, make sure you see your dentist immediately, as it could be a sign of a greater problem with one of your exposed roots.

Other Ways to Alleviate Tooth Pain

  • Visiting your dentist as soon as possible is the best way to alleviate toothaches and treat the causes behind them
  • Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater may also help with pain
  • Cold compresses, like icepacks, can be good for temporarily reliving pain and swelling
  • Avoid hot, cold, sugary and acidic foods that may heighten your toothache or exacerbate the problem
  • Only take painkillers that have been recommended by your dentist, doctor or pharmacist

Are you experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity?

Somerset Dental Care is open 6 days per week, with dedicated bookings available to treat dental emergencies and toothaches. Book your appointment now on 02 4648 0909.

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