Toothache is a condition caused by inflammation of the most inner layer of the tooth. This inflammation can be caused by tooth decay, fractured or broken tooth, loose or broken fill, gingival recession, and periapical abscess. Sometimes, regardless of the inflammation of the inner layer, other problems such as periodontal abscess, ulcers in the gums, injuries in the joints connecting the jaw to the skull may cause pain similar to toothache. A visit to the dentist is necessary for treatment. If you do not have the opportunity to go to a dentist immediately, you can use simple methods at home to ease your pain. Taking a non-prescription pain medication, gargling with warm salt water, avoiding food and drinks that can increase the pain, applying pain-relieving and sedative herbs such as cloves, garlic and mint to the painful area can help relieve your toothache.
Table of Contents
Toothache is the pain in the mouth area, usually caused by tooth decay. It can be felt in many ways. The pain may be mild or severe, may come and go or be constant. Especially hot-cold food and drinks make the pain worse. At night, especially when lying, pain is felt more severely.
Sometimes it is difficult to decide which tooth has a pain. If the problem is in a molar tooth in the lower jaw, the pain is usually felt as if it comes from the ear. Teeth pain in the upper jaw is felt in the sinuses behind the cheekbone and forehead.
Bacteria in the mouth create plaque sticking to the teeth with the food you eat. The acids produced by the bacteria in the plaque damage the tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. The first sign of decay is the feeling of pain that occurs when you eat something that is too sweet, too cold or too hot. Sometimes the decay may appear as a brown or white spot on the tooth.
It is the inflammation and irritation of the nerve tissues and blood vessels in the middle of the tooth. This inflammation causes pressure to build up inside the tooth and exerts pressure on the surrounding tissue. Pain may be mild or severe depending on the severity of inflammation. It is a condition that requires treatment.
It is caused by the accumulation of bacteria in the infected dental pulp. This infection tries to discharge itself from the end of the tooth root. If untreated, it causes severe pain due to swelling. Most of the abscesses can be seen on dental x-rays.
Because of biting and chewing, the teeth may weaken over time. The force applied when trying to chew a hard object can also cause the tooth to crack. Pain during biting and chewing and sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, sour foods may be signs of a broken tooth.
If there is not enough space for the tooth to come out of the mouth, the tooth cannot move in the proper position and remains under the gums. This pressure can cause severe pain. Best example of this are the wisdom teeth.
It is caused by the inflammation of the gums. Infection causing gums to deteriorate and gingival recession, makes the teeth more sensitive to caries or decay. If this condition is not treated, it can progress to tooth loss.
Sometimes teeth may be sensitive to cold air, liquids and food. In this case, your dentist may recommend special toothpastes to relieve symptoms, and apply fluoride to your teeth.
There are cases where toothache or sensitivity is not related to the teeth. Sinusitis, for example, causes pain around the upper jaw. Injuries in joints connecting jaw to the skull may also cause tooth pain. In addition:
If you have tooth pain lasting more than a day or two, you should go to a dentist.
Benzocaine has been associated with a serious and sometimes fatal condition called methemoglobinemia, which reduces the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry. Always use benzocaine-containing products in consultation with your physician and do not use more than the recommended dose.
The hydrogen peroxide solution should never be swallowed. Therefore, use in children is not recommended.
If you are late to go to a doctor, using an anti-inflammatory can help reduce inflammation. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water helps to clean the bacteria from the inflamed area and relieves you. And keeping your head higher than your body is a good way to reduce the pressure in the painful area.
Your dentist will examine you and identify the cause of your toothache. She/he will ask you questions about when the pain starts, where it is, which situations make the pain worse or better. If necessary, he/she can take the X-ray.
Even if you are going to use your permanent teeth for the rest of your life, sometimes there may be situations that require getting these teeth pulled out. For example:
In cases where the tooth is to be pulled, your dentist will numb the infected area with local anesthesia. In rare cases, general anesthesia may be needed. Depending on the nature of the tooth, it may be necessary to cut the gum and bone tissue to pull the tooth. A difficult tooth can be removed even in pieces.
Recovery usually takes several days after a tooth is pulled out. A few suggestions will help you to minimize the risk of infection and to fasten the healing:
Untreated dental problems, especially those caused by infection of teeth and surrounding tissues, can cause serious problems.
The infection can also spread by blood through heart valves, joints and any prosthesis within the body. Especially older individuals are at a more serious risk. It is therefore recommended to have a regular dental check-up even if there are no dental complaints.
Poor oral health and chronic gingivitis can cause problems in the blood vessels that feed the heart and brain vessels.
Garlic has antibacterial properties, but it also acts as a painkiller while killing harmful bacteria that cause dental plaque. To relieve your tooth ache, you can chew a clove of garlic or squish it, mix it with a little salt, and apply it to your aching tooth.
Clove contains eugenol that acts as a natural anesthetic. It has also anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help prevent tooth and gum infections. To relieve your toothache, soak a small cotton ball into clove oil and apply it to the painful area. You can also gently chew a clove and keep it on the painful tooth for 30 minutes to release its oil.
Mint helps to relieve toothache due to its numbing property. Menthol is antibacterial. Put a teaspoon of dry mint leaf into a glass of boiled water and brew for 20 minutes. After cooling, rinse your mouth with this water. You can also keep a slightly warm wet mint tea bag on the tooth for a few minutes until the pain decreases. You can also put a few drops of mint oil onto a cotton ball and apply it to your aching tooth.
Thymol, the essential component of thyme oil, has antiseptic and antifungal properties. You can add a few drops of thyme oil to in a glass of water and rinse your mouth with it or you can drop it on a cotton and apply it to your painful tooth.
Studies have shown that the active components in aloe vera have natural antibacterial properties and can destroy microbes that cause tooth decay. Apply the aloe vera gel by gently massaging the painful area.
It has anti-inflammatory that help to heal wounds and oral antimicrobial properties that help oral health. Chew some fresh guava leaves or add some crushed guava leaves to boiling water and gargle with it when it cools down.