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What to Do If You Experience a Toothache or Tooth Pain

by ashleejohnston

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Traumatic injury to teeth, cheeks, the tongue or jaw can be devastating for a patient, both from an oral health perspective and for the patient’s self-confidence. Over the years as a Bellingham dentist, I have witnessed several patients profoundly impacted by unexpected injuries. While accidents are by definition not planned and are not predictable, it can be very helpful to have a potential treatment plan in mind should you find yourself in need of one. Let’s review some common dental injuries, how to best avoid such injuries, and what to do should you sustain such an injury. This week we will concentrate on what steps to take if you have a toothache.

First, let us consider what to do if you have a toothache. Maintaining a diligent daily hygiene regimen will go a long way to prevent toothaches. Brush and floss your teeth twice daily, and see your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings.

Toothaches often present with sharp, throbbing or constant pain, particularly when pressure is applied to the tooth; this can involve one or multiple teeth. In very serious cases, patients may also experience symptoms such as fever, ear-aches or even pain when opening their mouths.

You may be wondering what causes a toothache. Toothaches can be caused by several problems such as tooth decay, an abscessed tooth, gum infection or tooth fracture. It is important to take all symptoms seriously. Even if your pain dissipates, a more serious problem may be at the root of the problem. If your pain is severe, lasts more than 1 day, or spreads to your ears and head, contact your dentist immediately.

Until you can get to your dentist, rinse your mouth with warm water to cleanse the area. Follow up with flossing your teeth to dislodge any particles, and apply a cold compress to reduce pain and control swelling. Do not apply aspirin or any pain-killer directly to the tooth - this may damage your gums.

Toothaches are often the end result of larger dental problem, and avoiding timely treatment for one can cause complications. The sooner you receive treatment the better, and the more likely you will be to avoid serious repercussions.

Please call our Bellingham dental office at 360-746-6622 to answer any questions you may have about toothaches or for more information about dental care. We are here to help you!

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