A dull and achy throb. A sharp zinging pain. A swollen face and unbearable agony. These are some common ways our patients have described a toothache. Even though nobody ever wants to experience a toothache, your dentist in Herndon knows that, unfortunately, they happen to just about everyone at least once. While the cause behind each toothache can differ from person to person, there are few common causes of tooth pain that may explain why you’re feeling what you’re feeling.
Top 5 Causes of Tooth Pain
There are countless reasons why someone may have tooth pain, and the best way to find out what’s truly causing your specific pain is to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Herndon. However, in the meantime, here are a few possible explanations for what may be going on in your mouth.
- You have a cavity. A tiny cavity may not cause any pain, but the longer a cavity goes untreated, the more likely it is that it will get bigger and cause pain. Cavities can usually be treated with fillings but if they’re too big or too deep, you may need a root canal to relieve the pain.
- You have an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is an area of infection that can cause pain and can occur in various places throughout the mouth. Pain associated with an abscess can feel throbby and you may even feel it up into your jaw or ears.
- You lost a filling. Any number of things can cause a filling to become loose and fall out. When this happens, the inner workings of the tooth, including the nerves, can become exposed. This can cause pain, but it doesn’t always. You may actually notice increased tooth sensitivity or actually feel the hole before you get a toothache.
- You cracked a tooth. A cracked tooth can happen as a result of trauma or constant tooth clenching or grinding. You may not even be able to see the break or crack but if it’s deep enough or not treated, it can cause pain.
- You have gum disease. We know we’re talking about tooth pain and not gum pain, but the truth is, the two can be difficult to tell apart. Gum disease can first show signs as swollen gums and pain that can seem like tooth pain. It’s important to treat gum disease sooner rather than later because as the disease progresses it becomes harder to treat and can lead to whole-body health concerns, increased pain, and even tooth loss.
Remember, this is not an all-inclusive list and the cause of your toothache may be something not listed here. Schedule an appointment with your dentist so you can get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Relieving Toothache Pain
Even though you still need to see your dentist in Herndon, there are a few ways that have been known to help patients relieve tooth pain including:
- Oral Anesthetic. We always recommend having an over-the-counter oral anesthetic in your medicine cabinet for unexpected toothaches. This numbing agent can give you brief periods of toothache relief.
- Oil of Cloves. If you’re looking for a more natural option, look no farther than oil of cloves. Working much like over-the-counter anesthetics, oil of cloves can temporarily ease tooth pain.
- Salt Water. This trusted remedy for sore throats also works for tooth pain. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times throughout the day to dry out any fluid buildup that may be putting pressure on your nerves and causing pain.
- Ice. If you have swelling, wrap a cold compress, a frozen bag of peas, or plain old ice in a cloth and apply it to your face to reduce swelling. It can stay there for up to 15 minutes, then make sure to remove it for at least another 15 before reapplying.
- Anti-inflammatories. Anti-inflammatories do just as their name suggests — they reduce inflammation and, as a result, pain. If you can take the over-the-counter pills, use them only as directed.
We never want anyone to experience the discomfort of a toothache, but we’re happy to be here to help if one does pop up. Call us to schedule an appointment and get relief quickly.
iSmile Dental Care has dental offices in Northern Virginia, including Manassas, Reston, Gainesville, Fairfax, and Herndon.