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Emergency Toothache Relief

May 30, 2023

Toothache is a condition characterized by pain in and around a tooth. The pain may be accompanied by other symptoms including bad breath, foul taste, headaches, fever, chills, and more. Minor toothaches are common and are typically the result of gum irritation. These can be treated at home. However, severe toothaches are typically due to a cavity or infection and must be addressed by a dental professional.

There are several different severities of toothache pain. It may manifest as a dull ache that won't stop. It may be a throbbing pain or a sharp/jabbing pain. On the other hand, a toothache may manifest as tooth sensitivity. However, no matter what level of pain you are feeling, a toothache is not something you should ignore.

If you experience tooth pain outside of regular office hours, contact Sunflower Dental Spa in Rockledge, FL for emergency dental services. We can provide emergency toothache relief at any time of the day or night.

Toothache Causes

The most common causes of toothache include:

  • Cavities

    - a cavity is a condition in which bacteria causes enamel erosion, creating a tiny hole in your tooth. This allows the bacteria to get inside the tooth, close to the nerve, which causes pain.

  • Bruxism

    - this condition is often referred to as teeth grinding. It can cause jaw pain, as well as wear down tooth enamel, and cause teeth to fracture/break or loosen.

  • Abscess

    - an abscess is a boil- or pimple-like pus pocket that appears near an infected tooth.

  • Sinus infection/allergies

    - a sinus infection or allergies can cause pressure in the sinus cavities, which can put pressure on your face and jaw, causing tooth pain.

  • Root fracture

    - root fracture is a less obvious cause of tooth pain because it occurs under the gumline. The best way to detect a root fracture is with a cone beam CT scan.

  • Wisdom tooth

    - most common in older teens and young adults, this is when the third molars erupt through the gums. They don't always cause pain, but it can be excruciating when they do. However, wisdom teeth must be removed because they can cause a variety of dental issues.

Underlying Problems Associated with Toothache

Ignoring a toothache could lead to the following:

  • More pain and higher costs

    If you seek immediate treatment, you may be able to treat your toothache with a simple dental filling. On the other hand, if you ignore it, the problem will advance and you may end up needing root canal treatment, a dental crown, or even tooth extraction.

  • Spreading infection

    If left untreated, the infection can spread into your jaw, face, neck, and other areas of your body. This can cause increased heart rate, dizziness, dehydration, fatigue, rapid breathing, stomach pain, and dizziness- and can ultimately cause sepsis, which can be life-threatening.

5 Tips for Emergency Toothache Relief

If you are unable to get an emergency dental appointment, there are some things you can do at home to relieve the pain while you wait.

First of all, try OTC pain relievers and take them according to the label. Do not stop taking them because the pain subsides. Keep taking them until you can get to the dentist.

Toothache drops and gels can be used to temporarily numb the pain. You may want to use this along with OTC pain relievers for breakthrough pain and while you wait for the pain relief to take effect.

If you prefer a more natural approach, you can try applying garlic or clove oil to the tooth. Both of these have been used for decades by dental professionals and folk medicine practitioners.

Another more natural approach is to rinse your mouth with saltwater. This can relieve pain by reducing swelling and killing bacteria.

Finally, ice packs can help reduce facial swelling and numb the face near the affected tooth. You should apply ice for only 10 to 15 minutes at a time every 30 minutes to an hour. Many patients agree that an ice pack just before bed can help them get some sleep, despite tooth pain.

When is a Toothache an emergency?

A toothache becomes an emergency if you have:

  • Persistent pain
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot/cold
  • Pain when pressure is applied
  • Foul taste in mouth/bad breath
  • Abscess
  • Pain is due to trauma to the face or mouth

Your teeth are an important part of your oral and overall health. If you have a toothache outside of our regular office hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, please contact us by calling the office number at Rockledge, FL.

We can help you get your toothache under control and treat the underlying cause to prevent future oral and overall health issues.

Emergency Toothache FAQs

The team at Sunflower Dental Spa understands that an emergency toothache can be frustrating-especially if you are vigilant in your oral care routine. We are here to help you with your emergency dental needs and will be happy to discuss your questions or concerns. In the meantime, here are a few answers to the most common questions we hear from our patients:

  • How long does toothache last?

    There's no standard for how long a toothache should last. This depends on what is causing it. For example, if your gums are irritated, the pain should resolve within a day or two. On the other hand, if the pain is caused by a cavity or dental abscess, it may peak and fade, but it won't clear up on its own.

  • What not to do when you have a toothache?

    When you have a toothache, here's what you should not do:

    • You should not ignore it- you should get to the dental clinic as soon as possible. Ignoring it could lead to complications in the future.
    • If you are taking OTC pain relievers, do not stop taking them when the pain stops. You should explicitly follow the dosing instructions on the bottle- if it says every 4 to 6 hours, you should take it every 4 to 6 hours.
    • If you have a fever, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or any other serious symptoms, you should seek emergency room treatment to get those under control- then, contact the dentist.
    • Do not put off calling the office- even if the problem happens outside of office hours, we offer emergency treatment and can be reached 24/7.
  • What can you eat with a toothache?

    When you are dealing with a toothache, eating can be virtually impossible. However, there are a few things you can eat to curb the hunger without causing further irritation and pain:

    • Pudding
    • Gelatin
    • Applesauce
    • Smoothies
    • Soft fruits
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Any soft foods that are not too hot/cold
    • You should avoid raw veggies, meat, citrus fruits, spicy/salty foods, and granola.
  • How do you deal with emergency tooth pain?

    There are a few things you can do at home to deal with emergency toothache pain while you wait to get in to see the dentist, including:

    • OTC medications
    • Temporary filling kits
    • Benzocaine gels or drops
    • Clove oil
    • Saltwater rinse or hydrogen peroxide rinse
    • Garlic
    • Peppermint tea
    • Rest/sleep with head elevated
    • Ice packs
  • Can you go to the emergency room for toothache pain?

    While you can go to the emergency room for toothache pain, it's important to note that they will be unable to do anything for you beyond providing you with an antibiotic, something for the pain, and a recommendation that you contact a dentist as soon as possible.

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