Many people will experience a toothache at some point in their life. Toothaches can be extremely painful, and in some cases may require emergency treatment. At Value Dental Center Queen Creek, we can diagnose the cause of your toothache and provide you with an appropriate treatment to heal your tooth and ease your pain. Patients suffering from a toothache accompanied by a fever or a foul-tasting drainage should contact our office immediately as this could be a sign of an infection.
What Are the Common Causes of a Toothache?
The most common cause of a toothache, in both children and adults, is tooth decay. Untreated cavities can cause a great deal of damage to your teeth and can result in an extremely painful toothache. Other causes of toothaches include:
- Abscessed or infected tooth or tooth root
- Cracked or fractured tooth
- Damaged crown or filling
- Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism
- Gum disease
What are the Symptoms of a Toothache?
The first sign of a toothache (and tooth decay) is usually a painful sensation in the tooth when eating or drinking hot or cold food and drinks. Other symptoms of a toothache may include a sharp or throbbing pain in or around the tooth, swelling of the tissues around the tooth, headache, fever, a foul taste in the mouth, and bad breath.
When Should I seek Treatment for a Toothache?
A toothache that is accompanied by a fever, earache, or other signs of an infection such as red and swollen gums, should be treated as soon as possible. These may be signs of an abscessed tooth, which can be life threatening if left untreated. Contact our office immediately, and if it is after hours, you will be connected to our on-call dentist. If your toothache lasts more than a day or two, you should contact our office to schedule an appointment.
How is a Toothache Diagnosed and Treated?
When you come to our office with a toothache, your dentist will discuss your symptoms and pain levels with you and perform a thorough exam of your teeth and gums. X-rays and other tests may be taken to fully diagnose the cause of your toothache.
The treatment for your toothache will depend on the cause. If your toothache is due to tooth decay, your dentist will remove and fill the cavity. If your toothache is caused by an infection, we may perform a root canal to remove the infection. You may be prescribed antibiotics to aid in removing the infection and to prevent it from returning. In severe cases, the tooth may need to be extracted and replaced with a crown. If your toothache is the result of bruxism, your dentist may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from further damage.
Because most toothaches are due to tooth decay, the easiest way to prevent a toothache is to practice proper oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice each day and flossing every day can help preserve your oral health. It also helps to avoid sugary foods and beverages, and rinse your mouth with water after eating.
We recommend patients schedule dental cleanings and checkups twice a year. Regular dental cleanings remove built-up plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach places to prevent tooth decay. Regular exams can help detect tooth decay early on before it turns into a painful toothache. If you are suffering from a toothache, contact Value Dental Center Queen Creek today to schedule your appointment.