How to deal with toothache

How to deal with toothache

What is toothache?

Toothache is typically described as a sharp, throbbing or constant pain in and around your tooth.

In some cases, the pain is only noticeable if you press against the area. 

And in some cases, you might also have a facial swelling, fever or headache. 

What causes toothache?

The most common causes of toothache include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Cracked or damaged teeth
  • Loose or broken fillings
  • Dental abscesses
  • Infections
  • Problems with your braces

When to go to the hospital.

Some cases of toothache can be more serious, so it’s important to take the right precautions.

You should go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department if you have toothache with swelling:

  • In your face, near your eye or in your neck
  • That is making it more difficult to breathe, speak or swallow. 

When to see your dentist.

You should see your dentist if you have toothache and:

  • It has lasted for more than two days
  • Painkillers haven’t worked
  • It’s painful when you bite 
  • Your temperature is high
  • Your gums are red
  • You have a bad taste in your mouth
  • Your cheek or jaw is swollen.

The NHS advises that you should not visit your GP with these symptoms as you may need dental treatment that a doctor can’t provide.

How to deal with toothache pain.

To help ease the pain of toothache:

Take painkillers

  • Take ibuprofen or paracetamol tablets
  • Use a pain-relief gel for your mouth
  • Always read labels and follow instructions carefully
  • For children under 16, ask your pharmacist for advice.

Rinse your mouth with salt water (not for children)

  • Dissolve a teaspoon of salt into a cup of boiling water
  • Allow the water cool down until it’s a lukewarm temperature
  • Rinse the salt water around your mouth, then spit it out — don’t swallow it
  • Repeat this as often as you like.

Eating when you have toothache.

If you are eating while you have toothache, it’s important to choose the right foods and avoid chewing on the affected tooth.

Eat soft foods, like:

  • Soup
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Natural yoghurt.

Avoid foods that are:

  • Sweet and sugary
  • Very cold 
  • Very hot — allow to cool before eating.

How to avoid toothache.

The best way to avoid toothache is to practice good oral hygiene.

  • Brush your teeth for around two minutes, twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss or use interdental brushes daily
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit your dentist regularly

If you have any further questions about toothache and how to prevent it, just ask Dr Saigal or our hygienist.