When Does a Toothache Warrant a Trip to the Dentist?

Like most pains, toothaches can either be dull or acute. Sensitivity to temperature—a subtle pain—is manageable and harmless. Changing your brushing habits or switching toothpastes often solves the problem. But tooth soreness comes in varying degrees and home remedies may not always suffice.

Common Causes of Toothaches

Cavities, gum disease, fractures, and physical stress (i.e. grinding) can aggravate your teeth. Such conditions can also lead to jaw swelling, fevers, and headaches. Other accompanying symptoms include labored breathing, oral discharge, and restricted movement in the jaw, neck, and shoulders.

Although over-the-counter medications can allay moderate symptoms of a toothache, consult a doctor before taking anything. Pain that persists for more than two days is always worth checking out clinically.

Do Not Ignore Toothaches for Too Long

While improved hygiene can subdue aches from decay and recessing, it’s best to address the causes and not just the symptoms. For example, a tight jaw and sore teeth can be indicative of angina.

In most cases, the cause is not so severe and the ache is easily remedied. Nevertheless, it’s good to rule out serious problems before allowing them to fester.

If you cannot book an immediate appointment with your dentist, do the following to reduce pain and inflammation:

  • Rinse and garble with salt water;
  • Mince cloves and apply to the affected area;
  • Floss nightly and deeply;
  • Refrain from dissolving painkillers close to the ailment. (Of course, you can rub gel on the sore area for temporary relief).

If you’ve recently undergone oral surgery and continue to experience discomfort, don’t assume everything is okay. Schedule a follow-up appointment so that your dentist can verify all is healing as it should.

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