Most people don’t take dental hygiene seriously until their first toothache. A toothache is one of the most horrible things to deal with. Period. Anyone who has been through such an ordeal can’t possibly want to experience it twice. Sweating, panting, asking questions like, “Do toothaches go away eventually?” all cause a very stressful and morale-ruining experience.
Ah, toothaches! If they do go away, then how? How can you make the pain more manageable? Let’s talk about the most common culprits when it comes to toothaches, how to treat, and when to visit a professional for help. In addition, it’s also important to go through healthy oral cleaning techniques, the importance of periodic dentist visits, and more.
Do Toothaches Go Away: Different Types of Toothaches
Before talking about how to medicate or alleviate toothaches, it’s important to note that there are quite a bit of different types of pain that might indicate different affections.
- Throbbing Pain
A lot of those who ask “Do toothaches go away?” is likely experiencing throbbing pain, which is one of the most extreme kinds of tooth pain. Throbbing pain will usually get worse when exposed to warm temperatures, which then indicates an infection called periodontitis or inflammation of the gums.
It is usually linked to a tooth abscess, which is either caused by a fissure, cavity, or an infected area of the gum. It can be treated by visiting the dentist and receiving immediate attention (draining the abscess or tooth removal) or by applying cold compresses at home, taking anti-inflammatory medicine, or even over-the-counter pain meds.
- Acute Pain (Quick to Appear and Disappear)
This pain is usually concentrated in a single place and is caused by tooth sensitivity. More specifically, the patient feels a type of pulsating pain when the affected tooth comes in contact with a very warm or cold element, lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes.
It can be caused by cavities, gum disease, damaged teeth, a fallen crown, or an infection. This type of pain doesn’t require any immediate attention and can be handled by a professional during the patient’s next appointment, which should be scheduled ASAP.
- Pain in Multiple Places (Head, Neck, and Ears)
This is another type of pain that’s very hard to deal with. It’s present in more than one place and is usually caused by an exposed nerve. The nerve will become irritated and pass on the pain towards the neck, ears, and head.
For this reason, it’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible. It can also be caused by an infection, but only if the infection reaches the nerve.
For treatment, this type of pain must be handled by a professional who will diagnose it correctly. Until then, the patient can take some pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Contact Pain
Contact pain refers to a tooth becoming painful only when it comes in contact with another element such as food, the tongue, or another tooth. It’s usually caused by the tooth being overly-sensitive because of a crack, a fresh crown, or a wisdom tooth growing. It can be managed by taking anti-inflammatory medicine, pain medicine, and visiting the dentist.
Treatment and Pain Management
There’s not a lot that one can do to save oneself from toothaches. As stated above, pain medicine and anti-inflammatories are the only short-term solutions available. A professional will prescribe antibiotics for infections and will place a temporary crown, but this won’t work in 100% of the cases.
The first thing to do is to make a dentist appointment. Most patients who go through emergency procedures will notice that the pain that is associated with a dental procedure is more manageable than the pain caused by an infection or by a sensitive tooth.
Usually, emergency treatment will include:
- Treatment of the cavity with a filling
- Applying a dental dressing to soothe the irritated nerve
- Endodontic draining (if the infection has spread to the root of the tooth)
- Draining an abscess
- Drugs (usually antibiotics)
The patient will also get a cool dose of anesthetics, which will be seen as a breath of fresh air after fighting crippling pain for the past hours or days. Before accepting anesthetics, though, it’s important that the dentist has access to the patient’s medical history to avoid a negative reaction.
It’s Nothing to Joke About
Apart from being very hard on one’s budget and savings, untreated tooth infections can lead to very serious diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. In such extreme cases, the bone will get damaged, and the teeth will loosen in their sockets, gradually falling out. Unhealthy teeth and gums are no joke, so make sure to schedule regular appointments with a professional.
Brush, Floss, Mouthwash
Brushing one’s teeth is very important in preventing acidity and other impurities from damaging the tooth’s natural coating, exposing it to cavities and other problems. In addition to this, it prevents the buildup of plaque, which can lead to conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis. That being said, don’t be too aggressive when brushing and pick a brush that’s not too hard on the gums.
Flossing is also a very important step in oral hygiene. Flossing will clear those nooks and crannies that are impossible to reach with a toothbrush. It will also remove any sort of lingering foods and make sure that the gums won’t get infected. While it’s not very pleasant, you will surely be thankful if you spend a few minutes a day flossing.
Mouthwash isn’t necessarily a must, but it’s a nice way to end the cleaning routine. It helps kill any lingering bacteria, it strengthens the teeth’s natural protection with more fluoride, and it gives the user fresh breath. That being said, some people might find it too intense, so it’s really optional.
Make sure to not ignore any of the signs of an infected tooth, bleeding gum, or swollen face. Keep an eye out for the usual signs and go to the dentist as soon as possible. Other than that, having good oral hygiene is really just about maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, not skimping on brushing and flossing, and regular visits to a trusted dentist.