Tooth ache may be caused by:
- Tooth decay
- Abscessed tooth and gum
- Broken tooth or fillings
- Heavy bite, repetitive clenching or grinding
The symptoms of a toothache may include:
- Sharping, throwing, constant pain or dull ache
- Pain on biting
- Lingering pain on hot or cold
- Foul tasting
- Headache and unwell
What happens when I go to a dentist for a toothache?
Your dentist will thoroughly ask your medical history, details of the pain including when the pain started, how severe it is, where the pain is located, what makes the pain worse, and what relieves the pain. Your dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, gums, jaw, tongue, throat, and sinus. X-ray/s will also be taken to add to the correct diagnosis.
What are the treatments available to stop the pain?
Depending on the cause of the tooth ache, your dentist will discuss the options, costs and process of treatments to relieve your dental pain. If the pain is caused by a cavity, but not affecting the nerve of the tooth, a filling maybe all that is needed. However, in most cases, if the pain is caused by deep decay which has affected the nerve, then a root canal treatment will be needed to treat the pain and save the tooth. If the tooth is too badly damaged or broken, an extraction is the option of pain relief. Antibiotics alone is not effective to treat dental pain, however if you have fever, large abscess and swelling in the jaw, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics.
How do I Prevent Toothache?
Most toothaches are the results of large cavity, abscess or gum disease, therefore following good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are most effective to prevent dental pain. Small cavities usually do not cause pain and are easy to treat by dental fillings. On your regular check-up appointment, your dentist will be able to identify cavities and let you know how many fillings required. It is always a good idea to have fillings done before they develop into a large cavity and abscess, eventually causing pain.
Dr Meifang (Mia) Zhu