Dealing with toothaches: causes and remedies

Nobody likes toothaches. They can swiftly turn from an annoyance to a persistent pain, disrupting your routine and causing discomfort. Although there are many potential causes for toothaches, there are also some simple remedies — that could help ease the pain depending on its severity. 

Potential causes of toothaches: 

  • Cavities: The most common cause, cavities are tiny openings in the teeth’s surface due to bacteria and plaque. When these progress deeper, they trigger pain. 
  • Gum Problems: Gum disease can expose tooth roots, leading to sensitivity and pain while consuming hot or cold foods. 
  • Tooth Sensitivity: Thinning enamel or receding gums can cause sharp pain when encountering extreme temperatures. 
  • Abscess: Infections can lead to abscess formation, causing severe pain and swelling around the tooth. 
  • Cracks: Tooth trauma or biting hard objects can result in cracks that expose sensitive inner layers. 
  • Sinus Issues: Upper rear teeth can ache due to pressure from sinus infections, often mistaken for toothaches. 

Potential remedies for the pain: 

  • Maintain Oral Hygiene: Brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and using mouthwash can prevent cavities and gum issues. 
  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation. 
  • Saltwater Rinse: Gargling warm salt water reduces inflammation and offers relief. 
  • Cold Compress: Help numb pain and reduce swelling by applying a cold compress. 
  • Dental Visit: If pain persists, consult a dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. They can help determine if it’s a cavity or another issue that they’ll need to treat professionally with fillings or root canals or other dental treatments.  

So, while toothaches can be excruciating, they’re also manageable. By understanding the causes and practicing good oral hygiene, you can significantly lower the risk. And if a toothache strikes, remember that seeking professional guidance is the most effective path to relief and long-term oral health. 

If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, or you have a persistent toothache, schedule an appointment with Jackson Dental by calling (573) 243-5200 or visiting our office at 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, Mo.