Why have I got toothache?
There could be any number of reasons for your dental pain, but as a general guide it can usually be blamed on one of three things;
Gum disease – This condition will affect the soft tissue to begin with but it can eventually lead to toothache if it is not controlled during the early stages; it will cause the gums to become sore and inflamed, bleeding when the teeth are brushed. The first signs of gum disease tend to be fairly painless and this can be a problem in itself because it means the patient doesn’t always realise there is an issue until it is too late and irreversible damage has been done. If the bacteria penetrate the supporting bone this will loosen the teeth in their sockets and it is normally very painful by this stage. Tooth loss or extraction is not out of the question and multiple teeth may be affected if the infection has become particularly aggressive.
Tooth decay – This is probably the most common cause of generic toothache in the UK; cavities in the surface of the teeth will leave the inner pulp chamber open to infection and food debris, which will start off as a slight pain and may become very uncomfortable if the pulp becomes infected. Decay can be easily treated using a filling in the early stages but a root canal may be needed if the central chamber has developed pulpitis or an abscess has formed. Tooth decay will typically register as a sharp pain when the teeth are brought together and will become more painful as the condition progresses.
Dental trauma – An accident or injury can cause pain immediately, sometimes by knocking the teeth right out of their sockets or breaking them severely, in other cases it may be less obvious that some damage has occurred; this is why it is always a good idea to get your teeth checked out if you have had an accident, even if you cannot see any obvious breakages. There is sometimes underlying damage that may lead to toothache at a later stage; this definitely needs to be treated in the first instance to make sure it doesn’t deteriorate and become more serious over time.
What is the best treatment for toothache?
That really depends on the type of toothache you are suffering with, if it is a general toothache that you have not had diagnosed yet, then there are several things you can try to combat the problem;
Painkillers – This is an obvious one; off-the-shelf painkillers such as Ibuprofen or paracetamol are fairly commonplace and can be purchased from any local shop or pharmacy – they are also quite cheap, usually costing between thirty pence and a couple of pounds for one packet. Pain relief tablets will normally be effective with mild to moderate toothache, but anything stronger than that will need tougher medication.
Prescription medication – If you are having problems with seriously painful toothache either before, during, or after your dental treatment, you might need something stronger than your average pain tablet, in which case you will have to visit your GP as you will need a prescription. It is worth mentioning that this type of painkiller should be taken in adherence with the strict dosage instructions to make sure that there are no problems with overdose or addiction.
Home remedies – There are numerous home remedies that can relieve mild toothache, many of which you may already have in your kitchen cupboards; things like onion, garlic, salt water, and clove oil have all been known to sooth inflamed nerves and get rid of tooth pain. There is no chance of overdosing on this kind of pain relief, and you won’t need a prescription either but they tend to be useful with mild cases of dental pain, rather than severely uncomfortable conditions.
At the end of the day, the best treatment for toothache is dental surgery – whether this be a root canal, a filling, antibiotics, or many other surgical procedures – because the toothache is not going to disappear by itself unless you address the cause of the problem at its source, rather than just trying to get rid of the symptoms in the short term. If you are suffering with toothache, instead of attempting to mask the problem using painkillers, you should make an appointment with a dentist and get the issue addressed before your condition worsens. If you need to speak to an emergency dentist you won’t do any better than the Pearl Dental Clinic; this London surgery is open twenty-four hours a day and should be able to secure treatment for you within a day of initial notification – you don’t need to be registered with them either as they provide appointments for all patients that need help, registered or unregistered.
Do I need to go to the emergency dentist?
It’s up to you whether you go to the emergency dentist or whether you wait for an appointment with your regular practitioner – most people let the level of pain dictate their decision in this type of circumstance. You might not consider toothache to be an emergency but you are well within your rights to request an appointment if you find yourself in pain – it doesn’t have to be excruciating. Even if you are just having problems with toothache that is keeping you awake at night or making it difficult to eat comfortably, you would be better off going to a dentist and getting your teeth assessed rather than taking a painkiller and trying to ignore it.
Basically, if you judge yourself to be in an unacceptable amount of pain and you think you need to get treatment fairly soon, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t speak to an emergency dentist at the first available opportunity – why wait until the problem gets much worse?
If you are in serious pain and you have noticed other general symptoms as well – such as dizziness, nausea, and fever – you should go to the hospital instead of the dentist’s office because you may be suffering from an infection that could turn into blood poisoning. Although dentists can help with this kind of condition on a smaller scale where your teeth are concerned, they are unlikely to have the resources to assist you if your health takes a turn for the worse – in this case you would need to be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.