The primary antagonists to your oral health are bacteria. Therefore, if they’re allowed to grow, they can contribute to some serious issues, one of them being a toothache. Any sign of tooth discomfort should be paid immediate attention to, but when should you alert your dentist in Cassville? Read on to find out.
The Bacteria Problem
As stated above, bacteria are the primary enemies of oral health. They are always present in the mouth, but when foods or beverages other than water are consumed, they flock in that direction if the remaining debris isn’t removed through proper dental hygiene.
When the bacteria feed, they can eventually cause decay from the acidic fluids they release. Over time, this can lead to penetrating corrosion that can work its way to the inner parts of the tooth.
Before the condition can be treated, though, a pain assessment should be performed.
Differentiating Pain from Sensitivity
The first step is to determine the difference between an actual aching tooth and minor discomfort. An example of the latter is when the enamel has begun to wear and consuming a hot or cold beverage causes a momentary jolt of sensitivity in a tooth. While this should never be ignored and needs to be brought to your dentist’s attention, it’s not considered an emergent situation like a severe toothache is.
The Usual Symptoms of a Toothache
Here are some of the traits you can expect from a typical toothache:
- The pain will be severe.
- There may be fever or chills.
- The discomfort will last for one to two days.
- The infection can cause an earache or pain when the mouth is opened.
If It’s a Toothache, Do This
If it’s apparent that you have a toothache, then you should reach out to your dentist to schedule a visit. This is critical because the bacteria growth could eventually develop into an even more painful and troublesome abscess.
Meanwhile, you can take the following steps at home:
- Gently floss around the affected tooth to attempt to remove any debris that may be exacerbating the problem.
- You can also gargle with a salt-water solution to decrease the bacteria in your mouth.
- If there is any swelling, you can apply an icepack to the outside of your jaw.
- To lessen the pain, you can also take up to 600 mg of ibuprofen.
To get the relief you need for your aching tooth, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist to schedule an appointment so you can be examined and have your oral health restored.
About the Author
Dr. Dan K. Young is a graduate of the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. He has since gone on to provide 20 years of top-notch dental care. Throughout his career, Dr. Young has remained dedicated to expanding his knowledge and further honing his skills, which is why he has received training from the Nash Institute for Dental Learning, the Dawson Center for Advanced Dental Study and the Scottsdale Center for Dental Learning. He provides restorative dental care at Young Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.