Dental Pain: Signs, Symptoms, and Remedies
A toothache or dental pain can be so excruciating that the sufferer is unable to focus on work or divert his or her attention to anything else. When a toothache occurs, you will only desire an appointment with a dentist. However, the waiting time before you see your doctor can be no less tormenting the dental pain itself. In this post, we are going to talk about the signs and symptoms of a toothache and what you can do to get relief from this tormenting pain.
For those who ignore dental hygiene or forget the signs and symptoms of dental pain, toothache is more likely to occur at night when they are trying to get some sleep. A toothache can be more excruciating during the night when it’s time to rest, making you awake and disrupting your body clock. In fact, you experience more blood pressure and flow to your upper body in comparison to standing position. So, if you experience severe dental pain when lying down, adjust your bed to sleep in an elevated position. And don’t forget to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Obviously, you won’t.
Signs and Symptoms of a Toothache
Hypersensitivity to hot or cold beverages is the first symptom that you are likely to experience when your gums are receding due to any disease or inflammation. This hypersensitivity can also occur due to dental decay. If the dental pain from drinking hot or cold beverages doesn’t automatically subside within 10 – 15 seconds, you are likely to be suffering from serious problems related to periodontal disease or orthodontic issues. Besides dentin hypersensitivity, some of the common symptoms related to dental pain include pain while chewing, plaque depositions, bad breath, bleeding gums, and swelling of gums or areas of the jaws. A toothache may also radiate to adjoining areas. So, a dental pain may resemble pain in the ears, jaws, or the cheeks.
Causes of a Toothache or dental pain
Dental pain can occur due to several reasons. Tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease (gingivitis) are the most common causes of a toothache. These conditions lead to dentin hypersensitivity, inflammation of the pulp, inflammation of the periodontal ligament, and the localized pus formation or dental abscesses.
Certain pains that may radiate and resemble a toothache or dental pain relate to sinusitis, ear infections, or other inflammatory conditions around the jaws. A toothache is not necessarily an indication of a problem within your mouth. Even angina (heart complications) or pain from other deeper structures may radiate as a dental pain. Many people mistakenly consider radiated pain as a toothache and try home remedies to get rid of it. However, radiated pain can be resolved only by addressing its root cause.
If you are having a toothache, you need prompt action to diagnose and resolve the issue. It is likely that preventive options are not very effective in your case, but you can still avoid the invasive procedures, and of course, save your tooth and money by quickly addressing the cause of your dental pain.
Warning Signs and Emergency
If a toothache is persistent, and you are having a sharp, pinching, or throbbing pain, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Severe dental pain should always be considered as an emergency. Almost all dentists give priority to such emergencies and therefore, you should clearly mention the severity of your dental pain while scheduling an appointment with your dentist.
A toothache or dental pain may become severe with deteriorating conditions (dental decay, gum disease, or other infections), but these pains are quite different from radiating pain. A careful observation can help you differentiate the pain that radiates from sinus cavities, ears, throat, jawlines, or other deeper areas. In case of dental problems, you will observe redness or inflammation on the gum lines. A soft tap on the affected tooth will result in a spontaneous and unbearable pain. On the other hand, pain that radiates from other areas is also felt around the involved deeper structures.
Medications for a Toothache or dental pain
Common pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) also provide relief from dental pain. The prescription medicines for a toothache contain a stronger combination of pain relieving agents in order to provide immediate relief from dental pain. However, it’s always advisable to consult your dentist before taking these pain relievers because many nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are known for some serious side effects, and the FDA has recently revamped its warning against the use of these drugs.
Topical applications are more effective and safer than pain-relieving pills. These gel-based oral pain relievers are very popular and easily available at any local drug store. Most of the topical applications contain benzocaine (as the active ingredient) which acts as a local anesthetic to block the pain signals for some time.
Some natural toothache remedies are also available in the market. These products contain herbal ingredients like clove oil. The natural remedies for dental pain are gaining popularity due to its effectiveness in bad breath, bleeding gums, and toothache-related discomforts.
Home Remedies for Dental Hygiene and Toothache
We inherit a very rich traditional knowledge of pain management, but these home remedies should not be used for procrastinating on your appointment with the dentist. Your dentist will use X-rays to investigate the root cause of your toothache and recommend the most suitable line of treatment (for example, antibiotics in combination with pain relievers) to manage your dental pain.
You can safely use herbal products or home remedies to manage your dental pain before your appointment with the dentists or during the healing process. Most of these home remedies involve the use of heat, ice pack, garlic cloves, warm tea bags, and rinse with peroxide or salt water.
Applying heat or ice pack to the affected area is the age-old practice of managing pain and inflammation. Many people find relief from excruciating dental pain by placing hot-water bags against the outside cheek of the affected area. Applying an ice pack gives the same result for many others.
Chewing garlic cloves is a traditional home remedy for dental pain. This home remedy can be slightly modified by using a cotton ball soaked in a mixture of olive and garlic oil. Placing this soaked ball in the affected area can provide some relief from the throbbing dental pain.
Placing a warm tea bag on the affected area is another very popular home remedy for managing the inflammation related to a toothache. However, this remedy leads to stained teeth and gums. This home remedy provides temporary relief from swelling or inflammation. Warm tea bags don’t have any role in curing the infection.
A rinse with salt water or peroxide is another very popular practice to clean the infection and prevent the excessive growth of bacteria. If you are having a toothache, you should strictly follow the dental hygiene practices (brushing and flossing) and rinse your mouth with salt water or peroxide at regular intervals until your dentist recommends his or her line of treatment.