What Is a Toothache?
It features pain that emanates from a diseased or infected tooth, causing significant discomfort in the jaw, gums, and entire head area. A toothache can be described as a sharp, dull, throbbing, or persistent ache in your mouth. Although a toothache could occur due to one diseased tooth, it may feel like your entire mouth is in pain.
How to Know You Are Experiencing a Toothache
At Susquehanna Valley Dental Group, we have found that many patients are aware of when they are experiencing a toothache. However, if you are in doubt, consider the following indicators of a toothache:
- Swollen gums
- Pain when you chew food or bite down.
- Persistent pain or discomfort in one side of your mouth.
- A headache and jaw pain.
- Bad breath
- Pus-like drainage from your tooth that is foul tasting.
What Causes a Toothache?
Dentists have identified various factors that could lead to a toothache, including the following:
- Dental trauma or impaction – following an injury or accident. Intense exertions and repeated motions in your mouth can also cause a toothache. A good example is a bruxism, a condition featuring excessive teeth grinding at night.
- Tooth fracture – a crack, chip, or break can be deep enough to damage the nerve endings in your tooth.
- Severe tooth decay – if you leave a cavity untreated for long, it develops into severe tooth damage.
- Foreign objects in the mouth – something getting stuck between your teeth or your dental appliance like braces can cause a toothache.
- Loose, missing, or damaged dental restoration – including braces, crowns, or a tooth filling.
- Hard foods – biting into hard food or item can cause tooth pain.
- Abscessed tooth – an infection within the inner layers of the tooth.
- Tooth eruption – sometimes, a tooth can cause problems when trying to emerge from the gums. It is especially the case with wisdom teeth, the last molars to develop in an adult.
- Dentin hypersensitivity – occurs when the dentin is exposed due to enamel erosion.
- Gum irritation or infection
- Jaw pain that extends the pain to your teeth.
- Dental procedure – any dental surgery like tooth extractions, bone grafting, or implantation surgery can cause a toothache.
Whether you figure out the cause of your toothache or not, you must be quick to determine a solution for it. Toothaches can be very painful, significant enough to deter you from going about your normal life activities.
Does A Toothache Really Worsen at Night?
Many patients admit that toothaches are worse at night than during the day. When you lie down to sleep, blood begins rushing to your head, resulting in blood pooling. It is especially the case if you do not keep your head elevated when you sleep. Blood pooling could explain why you cannot seem to sleep at night because of an excruciating toothache.
How Should I Sleep with Tooth Pain?
When you have a severe toothache, the best solution would be to reach out to an emergency dentist near you. However, if it is already nighttime and you have to sleep without treatment, your next best solution is pain medication. The good news is that you can easily access pain medication over-the-counter. Pain killers suppress your pain enough to get you through the night so you can seek treatment in the morning.
Best Pain Killer for Tooth Pain
Different medications can help manage your pain level. When you have unbearable teeth pain, the best pain reliever would be any anti-inflammatory drug, including:
Other Ways to Manage a Toothache at Home
Other than over-the-counter pain medication, consider the following dental care techniques to alleviate your pain before you get to a Middleburg family dentist’s office near you:
- Cold compress – an ice bag over your cheek at the position of the aching tooth can reduce inflammation and alleviate some of the pain.
- Rinse with salt water – it will destroy active bacteria in your mouth. Besides, the saltwater will reduce inflammation while loosening any debris between your teeth.
- Keep your head elevated – use pillows to hold your head up when you sleep. It will reduce the pain intensity at night.
- Rinse with hydrogen peroxide – if you can access hydrogen peroxide easily, create a diluted rinse to minimize inflammation and pain.