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Toothache

Self-Care Tips

For most people, a toothache comes on gradually and worsens over time. Very often, a toothache will occur in the middle of the night or on a weekend when going to the dentist is difficult.

Tips to increase your comfort until you can visit our office:

  • Rinse your mouth gently with warm water. Carefully use a toothpick or dental floss to remove any debris or food particles that may be caught in your teeth.
  • Take a commercial (over-the-counter) pain relief medication to ease the ache.
  • Applying dental antiseptic that contains benzocaine directly to the painful tooth and surrounding gum tissue can temporarily relieve the pain. Direct application of clove oil (eugenol) can also help. Use a small ball of cotton in between the teeth or directly in the cavity area. Be careful not to use too much clove oil to avoid burning the gum tissue.
  • If there is any bleeding from the tooth or gum, placing a moistened black tea bag directly on the bleeding gum for 30 minutes can ease the soreness and might even reduce or stop the bleeding.
  • Never place an aspirin or any other painkiller in direct contact with your gums, as it can burn delicate gum tissue.

Call our Office as Soon as Possible

Toothaches will not go away without proper treatment. It will only worsen over time. Call 760-291-8454.

How a Toothache Develops

Bacteria, sugar, and saliva are a formidable combination. Sugar compounds adhere to the surfaces of your teeth, beginning the formation of a sticky biofilm called plaque. Harmful bacteria cling to the biofilm feeding on the sugar and releasing acids. The acid dissolves the calcium phosphate in the enamel protecting your teeth leading to the formation of a cavity. The first indication of a cavity may be pain when you consume something very hot or cold, or something sugary.

Tooth Decay Progresses Over Time

If tooth decay is left untreated, it will continue to progress until the bacteria invade the center of the tooth where the nerve is located. Since the enamel outside layer is very hard, it will progress slowly at first. However, once the enamel has been penetrated, the tooth decay progresses at a faster rate. Initially, only slight sensitivity may be felt. As the cavity deepens, the tooth becomes more painful, until the pain is constant and sharp. Once the nerve is reached, the tooth will abscess. The abscess is likely to cause swelling in the jaw.

stages-tooth-decay

It is always best to treat tooth decay as early as possible to avoid pain, and treatment that is more invasive, as well as more costly. If too much of the tooth is destroyed, it may require extraction.

Schedule an Appointment

Call now to schedule an appointment (760) 746-2559.