Ouch! What’s Causing That Toothache & How Can I Stop It?

20 Nov 2019  |  No Comments
man suffering toothache

Nothing can cause more pain and suffering, and weaken even the strongest man on earth more than a toothache. Small as it may be, a nagging tooth pain can be incredibly painful and disruptive, which is why it is imperative that you call your dentist for an appointment the moment you experience it.

Toothaches can be caused by several different things. As such, toothache pain relief and treatment can also vary greatly. Here are some of the most common causes of toothaches and their corresponding teeth pain relief and solutions:

  • Tooth Decay – This is probably the most common and well-known cause of toothaches. It is basically the erosion and cavity formation of the outer surface or enamel of the tooth. This is caused by the buildup of plaque, a kind of bacteria around the tooth due to poor oral hygiene. Initially cavities are painless, but as they progress towards the inner layer of the tooth or the dentin, they start to become quite painful.
    • Treatment: Depending on the severity of the decay, the dentist may simply clean and fill the cavity, or possibly extract the tooth. The dentist may have to perform a root canal treatment if the tooth’s nerve has been infected. It’s important to have a dentist look at your tooth as soon as possible if this is the case, so as to avoid a more severe situation.
  • Abcessed Tooth – This is a tooth with an infected pulp, often caused by an untreated cavity or pulpitis that results in irritation, inflammation and the buildup of bacteria inside the pulp chamber. Pressure builds up inside the infected chamber so it tries to drain itself out, causing a constant pain that is even worse when chewing. Left untreated, the pain can become more severe, accompanied by swelling.
    • Treatment: An abcessed tooth is treated via a root canal.
            • Fractured Tooth – These are often caused by trauma from injury or from biting down on hard objects like ice cubes. With a broken tooth, you’ll often feel a sharp pain when biting or chewing, and a heightened sensitivity to hot or cold as well as sweet or sour foods.
              • Treatment: Treatment and repair of a fractured tooth depends on the severity of the fracture. It could require anything from a simple filling to an extraction.
            • Bruxism – This is a condition wherein a person- often unknowingly during their sleep- constantly clenches and grinds their teeth causing tooth sensitivity and pain. This can also cause damage to the teeth surface, and can even lead to tooth fractures.
              • Treatment: Bruxism is often treated with muscle relaxants, and the affected teeth repaired depending upon the damage that’s been caused. It can be prevented by wearing a night guard, and engaging in relaxing activities.
            • Gum Disease – This is caused by plaque and is characterised by bad breath, a swelling or inflammation of the gums, and receding gums. Left untreated, it can lead to gum deteriotation and bone loss.
              • Treatment: Treatments for gum disease depend upon the stage at which it is found, and can range from a regular teeth cleaning to surgery.
            • Impacted Tooth – An impacted tooth is a tooth that cannot move into its proper position in the mouth because of another tooth, gums or bone. This is often what becomes of wisdom teeth, as they are usually last to erupt. Sometimes the jawbone can no longer accommodate the additional teeth, and these teeth end up stuck under the gum. This can cause pressure and pain within the gum.
              • Treatment: More often than not surgery is required to remove an impacted tooth.

            When to Call A Dentist

            Some toothaches can be temporary, while others more serious. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taking a pain reliever, and other times more effective treatments must be considered. It’s important to know when to approach your dentist about these things so you don’t end up with even worse pain.

            You should see your dentist if:

            • The toothache lasts longer than 1 to 2 days
            • There is already some swelling around the tooth or gums
            • There is a foul tasting drainage coming from the tooth
            • The toothache is severe and becoming unbearable
            • You have a fever, headache, earache, or pain when opening your mouth wide
            • Along with tooth pain you have persistent bad breath, bleeding, widening spaces between teeth or loosening teeth

            If you’re ever in need of an emergency dentist in Sydney or a dentist in Ryde, give us a call. Here at Marsfield Dental we offer a complete set of treatments for toothaches, whatever the cause and level of severity. A family-owned practice since 1988, we provide quality care and service to families and individuals. Give us a call now on (02) 9887 1961.

            "The information in this website may be simplified in nature and does not replace professional advice. Risks and consequences may apply to any treatment. Always seek a second opinion when considering complex treatment. A referral to a specialist may be required in certain situations. Quotations can only be given after proper clinical assessment and so pricing details cannot be given over the phone."

            COVID 19 Update - Oct 2021

             All our members of staff - Dentists and supporting assistants - are fully vaccinated. We are a COVID-safe practice and we are open for all general dental treatment needs and services.