You may be surprised to know there is a National Toothache Day. After all, no one wants to celebrate that! But the occasion, on February 9, is more about raising awareness. As your dentist, we can certainly stop your pain. But we can help with toothache prevention too.
See Us for Fast Toothache Help
If you do get a toothache, call us ASAP at 732-506-2876. We’ll get you in for emergency care as quickly as we can, often on the same day. You’ll even have an opportunity to reach a dentist outside regular business hours.
If you’re in pain, there are some things you can do to help until you can see us. We recommend:
- Ice Packs – Applying ice to your face can help lessen discomfort and reduce any swelling. Don’t apply ice directly to your tooth, though. It is likely more sensitive to temperature extremes.
- Over-the-Counter Pain Relief – Pain relievers commonly available in drugstores can help. You can take ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin. If it’s your child whose tooth hurts, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the best choice. Forget the folk remedy of putting aspirin right on the tooth. This can worsen the problem.
- Topical Agents – Also available at drugstores are topical anesthetics like Orajel. They contain benzocaine, a numbing agent. You can also clove oil as a natural alternative. Unlike ice or aspirin, they should be applied directly to your tooth. They are only for short-term use, though.
What Causes Toothache & How We Can Stop It
The most common causes of toothache include cavities or infection (particularly in the pulp of your tooth) and injuries like cracks or breaks. Luckily, we can address all of those issues in our Middlesex, NJ office. No matter which treatment you receive, you can receive sedation to stay relaxed. Unlike most general dentists, we offer several options – up to and including general anesthesia.
Once you’re ready for treatment, we can:
- Repair Cavities – Cavities are a common cause of dental pain. Depending on the extent of the problem, we’ll fix a cavity with a filing, a partial crown, or a crown.
- Remove Infection – If bacteria gets inside your tooth, it causes a painful infection. Your two options are to remove the tooth or eliminate the infection with a root canal. We tend to recommend the root canal as you’ll heal more quickly and easily and won’t have to worry about a tooth replacement.
- Fix Cracks and Breaks – We can mend this kind of damage with a crown.
- Remove Badly Damaged Teeth – While keeping a tooth in place is usually advisable, sometimes a tooth is so damaged that it’s best to remove it. We do most oral surgery in-house, including gentle tooth extractions.
- Stop a Grinding Habit – Teeth grinding (also called bruxism) is a somewhat lesser-known cause of toothaches. It puts a lot of stress on your teeth and can even damage the enamel. It also often causes jaw pain and headaches. Your dentists can provide you with a custom-made mouthguard that will stop the grinding and relieve your pain.
Preventing Toothaches Isn’t Hard
The best way to handle toothaches is to prevent them from ever happening. Fortunately, this is pretty easy with simple dental best practices. You should:
- Brush and Floss Daily – Daily oral hygiene is essential in preventing toothaches and other dental problems. Brush twice a day, for at least two full minutes each time. Floss daily too, to remove bacteria and other substances from in between teeth.
- Get Regular Cleanings and Checkups – See us every six months for an exam and cleaning. We’ll get rid of plaque and bacteria you’ve missed at home with our professional equipment. We’ll also detect issues like cavities in their earliest stages. That way, we can treat them before they can cause pain.
- Never Use Teeth as Tools – You should never open packages with your teeth. Also avoid crunching down on ice or other hard substances, including fingernails.
- Protect Teeth During Sports – A blow to the face or a fall during athletic activities can chip or break a tooth. Protect your smile with a mouthguard. A custom-made guard will protect you better than one bought from a store.