lady holding to cheek for wisom teeth pain-wisdom-tooth-removal

Toothache Treatment Options for Tooth Pain Relief

Akeem AJAYI BDS, DDS
Akeem AJAYI BDS, DDS

General and Cosmetic Dentist

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Toothache is a common dental problem that affects people of all ages. It is characterized by pain, sometimes excruciating and unbearable pain around the head or a mild discomfort in or around a tooth. In some cases, the pain from toothache may be severe and persistent, while in others it may come and go. In addition to the physical discomfort of toothache, it can also have a negative impact on your quality of life. Toothache can make it difficult to eat, drink, speak, and even sleep, which can lead to irritability, fatigue, and other problems. It can also cause anxiety and stress, as the fear of dental procedures or the financial cost of treatment can be overwhelming. Toothache can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from tooth decay to gum disease. In this article, we will discuss the probable cause of your tooth ache and treatment options.

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Common Causes of Toothache and Pain Relief Options

There are many possible causes of toothache. Some of the most common causes include:

What to do for Toothache/pain caused by tooth Decay

toothache hole in tooth pain

If you have Toothache as a result of tooth decay, the choice of treatment will depend on the severity of the decay. The primary goal is to get you out of pain and stop the toothache. We will try to restore the function and appearance of the tooth when possible and prevent further decay. Treatment options for tooth decay include fillings, crowns, root canal therapy, extractions, and fluoride treatments.

  1. Crowns: If the tooth decay is more extensive and has caused significant damage to the tooth, a crown may be necessary. This involves placing a cap over the damaged tooth to provide additional support and protection.
  2. Root canal therapy: If the decay has reached the tooth’s pulp, a root canal may be necessary. This involves removing the infected pulp and filling the space with a special material to prevent further infection. The purpose of the root canal is to save the tooth and prevent the need for extraction.
  3. Tooth Extractions: In cases where the decay is too extensive and the tooth cannot be saved, a tooth extraction may be necessary to completely stop the pain. This involves removing the entire tooth from the socket. Extractions may also be necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth.
  4. Tooth Fillings
  5. Fluoride treatments: Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel and make it more resistant to decay. Fluoride treatments can be applied topically by your dentist or taken orally in the form of supplements or fluoridated water. The purpose of fluoride treatments is to prevent tooth decay from occurring in the first place.

Tooth Decay or Hole in tooth Pain:

Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, is a common dental problem caused When decay-causing bacteria comes into contact with sugars and starches from foods and drinks, they form an acid. This acid can attack the tooth’s enamel causing it to lose minerals. This can happen if you eat or drink often, especially foods and drinks containing sugar and starches. The repeated cycles of these “acid attacks” will cause the enamel to continue to lose minerals. Over time, the enamel is weakened and then destroyed, forming a cavity. Tooth decay can affect both adults and children and if left untreated, it can lead to tooth pain, infection, and even tooth loss. (Tooth Decay | National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (nih.gov)

Gum Disease: 

heavy build up and tartar on anterior teeth gum diseases

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It can cause the gums to become red, swollen, and tender, and can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. In some cases, gum disease can also cause toothache. Gum (periodontal) disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the hard (bone) and soft (gum) structures that support the teeth and can affect the overall health of the body as it is known to be strongly linked to a plethora of other health conditions including heart disease and stroke. Perhaps because gum disease is a relatively painless condition at least until the advanced stages when the. Bacteria from infected gums can build up around the tooth roots. This can cause an infection in the gum tissue that results in a toothache. 

What to do for Toothache caused by Gum Disease

Generally, there are two types of gum disease they type, or the severity of the gum disease will determine the kind of treatment and the severity of the tooth ache. Mild Gingivitis typically would not cause any pain severe Periodontitis can cause toothache among other issues.

  • Gingivitis – Early stage of gum diseases usually would not cause tooth ache but when it’s severe, it can. Scaling and root planing also known as Deep cleaning combined with good oral hygiene is the best solution for mild to moderate cases of gum disease. i.e., Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis – Severe Gum Disease or advanced Stage of Gum Disease Advanced Periodontitis is the most severe stage of gum disease. When Gum disease becomes severe, patients experience very loose teeth and would often become mobile due to lack of support from the surrounding bone. Biting and chewing may hurt because the teeth are mobile, and it can eventually lead to tooth loss. Surgical treatment is often necessary to correct advanced periodontitis. These includes:
  • Flap Surgery /Pocket reduction surgery
  • Bone Grafting to replace bone destroyed by gum disease. 
  • Bone surgery, 
  • soft tissue grafts and
  • guided tissue regeneration 

Dental Abscess: 

dental-abscess-on the molar area of a child on the top

Dental abscesses are usually caused by a bacterial infection that occurs when bacteria enter the tooth or gum tissue through a crack or cavity causing a pocket of pus to form in the tooth roots, gums, or surrounding bone. Symptoms of dental abscess include severe or throbbing toothache, swelling, difficulty opening the mouth and fever.

Treatment of Toothache caused by Dental Abscesses

When you have toothache caused by dental abscess, the choice of treatment depends on the severity of the infection and the location of the abscess. Treatment options may include.

  • Incision and Drainage of abscess: In some cases, our dentist may need to drain the abscess to remove the pus and relieve pressure on the tooth and gum tissues.
  • Root canal: If the abscess is caused by an infected tooth, our dentist may perform a root canal procedure to remove the infected tissue and save the tooth. Sometimes patient may need to seek treatment with a root canal specialist (Endodontist)
  • Tooth Extraction: If the tooth is abscessed, tooth extraction is an alternative solution to the root canal procedure.

Toothache and Dental Abscess Antibiotics Guidelines for Pain and Swelling

Although many articles online may suggest prescription of antibiotics for dental abscess. This is highly debatable, and, in our office, we do not always recommend it except for extreme cases.  Many national and international agencies, including the US federal government and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have joined forces with the ADA to help prevent a post antibiotic era in which antibiotics will no longer be effective in treating bacterial infections The guideline recommends against using antibiotics for most pulpal and periapical conditions and instead recommends only the use of dental treatment and, if needed, over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

  • Instead of prescribing antibiotics, dentists should prioritize dental treatments such as pulpotomy, pulpectomy, nonsurgical root canal treatment, or incision and drainage for symptomatic irreversible pulpitis, symptomatic apical periodontitis, and localized acute apical abscess in adult patients who are not severely immunocompromised. 
  • If a patient’s condition progresses to systemic involvement, showing signs of fever or malaise, then dentists should prescribe antibiotics. Dental Infection Antibiotics Guidelines for Pain and Swelling | American Dental Association (ada.org)

Cracked or Broken Tooth Pain: 

cracked tooth from the middle on on the premolar of an adult

A tooth fracture can occur as a result of trauma to the mouth, such as a fall or a blow to the face. Tooth fracture can cause toothache, when the fracture exposes the inner layer of the tooth, known as the dentin, or the sensitive nerve endings within the pulp of the tooth. When the dentin or pulp is exposed, it can cause toothache and sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, sweet or acidic foods, or when pressure is applied to the affected tooth.

Additionally, a tooth fracture can also lead to inflammation or infection in the pulp, which can cause toothache. In some cases, a fracture can also cause a piece of the tooth to break off, which can expose the underlying nerves and cause intense pain.

Treatment options for Toothache caused by Cracked tooth.

Your treatment options if you are having a toothache caused by a tooth fracture will depend on the severity and extent of the fracture. As a precaution, you want to avoid chewing on the affected tooth. If the tooth has a sharp edge and causes irritation to your tongue, you can use a sugar free gum to cover it. You can also do some salt and warm water rinse together with over-the-counter pain medication to help reduce the toothache. In order to completely alleviate the pain from a tooth fracture and restore the health and function of your tooth, it is important to seek prompt dental treatment. Some of your treatment options may include:

  1. Dental bonding or filling: If the fracture is minor and has not affected the pulp or nerve of the tooth, a dental bonding or filling material may be used to repair the damaged area and alleviate any pain.
  2. Crown: If the fracture has affected a larger portion of the tooth, a dental crown may be recommended. A crown is a custom-made cap that is placed over the damaged tooth to protect it and restore its function.
  3. Root canal: If the fracture has reached the pulp or nerve of the tooth, a root canal procedure may be necessary to remove the damaged tissue and alleviate pain.
  4. Extraction: In some cases, if the tooth is severely damaged and cannot be restored, it may need to be extracted. This is typically a last resort and is only recommended if no other treatment options are available.

It is important to seek prompt dental care if you are experiencing a toothache caused by a tooth fracture, as untreated fractures can lead to further damage and infection.

 

Toothache caused by wisdom teeth pain:

wisdom-tooth-decay-to-gum-level-removal

 Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the back of the mouth. While some people may never experience any problems with their wisdom teeth, others may experience pain and discomfort as their wisdom teeth grow in.  They can cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, tenderness, bleeding, bad breath or difficulty opening your mouth213. They can also damage other teeth or cause infections, There are three primary reasons why you may be experiencing a toothache as a result of your wisdom tooth. 

  1. Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the third molars do not have enough room to emerge properly from the gum line. This can cause the tooth to become impacted and damage other teeth. It can also lead to swelling and infection.
  2. Pericoronitis; When a wisdom tooth partially emerges from the gum, it can create a flap of gum tissue that can trap food particles and bacteria, leading to infection and inflammation. This can cause swelling and toothache.
  3. Decay is another possible cause of toothache from a wisdom tooth. If the wisdom tooth has emerged fully, because it is all the way at the back, it can be hard to properly care for it such that it can develop cavities and decay, leading to toothache.
  4. Crowding: When your wisdom teeth grow in, they can push against your other teeth, causing pain and discomfort

Treatment options for pain caused by wisdom teeth.

For most patients, tooth extraction or coronectomy is usually the recommended treatment when your wisdom tooth starts to cause toothache. The human jaw has become smaller over time, so for many people, you are able to function normally without them in fact for most patients, they are useless, out of occlusion and pose a threat to the healthy adjacent second molar when they are impacted so. you are most likely better off just removing them. Over the counter pain medication, salt and warm water rinse can equally be used to alleviate the pain from the wisdom teeth.

Tooth sensitivity:

 Tooth sensitivity occurs when the tooth enamel becomes worn down or the gum line recedes, exposing the sensitive nerves inside the tooth. This can cause pain and discomfort when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and drinks

Emergency Toothache Relief Emergency Dentist Treat Toothache not Urgent Care

If you are having a toothache, the emergency room or urgent care is not your first point of contact in fact urgent care should only be of last resort if you cannot find a Dentist. An emergency dentist is a dental professional who is available to provide same day immediate care for dental emergencies like toothaches. Emergency dentists alone are equipped and trained to handle a wide range of dental emergencies and will provide the necessary treatment to alleviate pain and prevent further damage.

How to prevent toothache

Preventing toothache is often possible through good oral hygiene practices, including:

  1. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  2. Flossing once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between teeth.
  3. Eating a healthy diet that is low in sugar and carbohydrates.
  4. Visiting the dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups

In conclusion, toothache is a common dental problem that can be caused by a variety of factors. If you are experiencing toothache, it is important to seek dental care as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment. Additionally, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene practices and visit the dentist regularly to prevent toothache from occurring in the first place. Ignoring toothache or delaying treatment can lead to more serious complications, such as infection spreading to other parts of the body or even tooth loss. It is also important to note that toothache can be a symptom of a more serious underlying health condition. If you experience severe or persistent toothache, along with other symptoms such as fever or difficulty breathing, seek a Dentist immediately.

Home Remedies for Toothache

If you are currently experiencing toothache,, it could be due to a couple of factors as discussed above only a Dentist is trained and equipped to make diagnosis as to cause of the toothache as well as your treatment options. Until you can call our office to schedule an appointment, there are a couple of things you can do at home to help reduce the pain.

One of the most common and effective remedies is to apply a cold compress. You can also take over the counter pain medication. Saltwater rinse, which can reduce bacteria, loosen debris, and soothe the gums is another option. Natural Analgesics as well natural anti-inflammatory such as CBD oil, peppermint tea bags, Clove oil,Guava leaves, Garlic can also be applied to the gum and or tooth to provide some relief for the toothache

 

Best pain relief for toothache

The best pain relief is a combination of different medication and techniques until you can get to your Dentist as soon as possible. First you want to rinse your mouth with salt and warm water. Apply some topical anesthesia around the tooth and gums. Take pain medications Alternate ibuprofen and Tylenol so as to get the anti-inflammatory benefits of the ibuprofen and the pain blocking benefits of tylenol. Alternate Do not take together until you can get to the Dentist for Emergency toothache Appointment.

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