Getting a toothache can be really annoying – especially since it’s hard to get a good look at the problem unless you’re a dentist like me, Dr. Paul Caputo. We help a lot of patients with toothaches at my dental office in Palm Harbor, FL – and while some cases of toothache pain can be easily treated, others may be signs of serious oral illnesses. Here are some of the most common causes of toothaches, along with tips for treating them.
One of the most serious causes of a toothache is an abscess – an infection that begins as a tooth infection or cavity, but can grow and deepen until it becomes a painful problem. Bacteria are the root cause of abscesses, so the most effective treatment is simply prevention: avoid sugary foods, brush and floss twice every day, and keep your mouth hydrated to prevent bacteria from finding places to grow. If you suspect you may have an abscess, contact my Palm Harbor, FL office, and we’ll take a look at the problem. If it turns out to be an abscess, we can probably treat it without much trouble as long as we catch it early.
This one’s pretty obvious – if you’ve cracked or broken one of your teeth, then you already know what’s causing your pain. The best treatment for a fracture is professional help – so schedule an appointment with my office as soon as possible. In the meantime, avoid very cold or very hot foods or drinks, as these can irritate your tooth’s exposed nerve endings. To help prevent infection, avoid sugary foods and drinks too; and make sure you stay hydrated. And there’s nothing wrong with taking an over-the-counter painkiller for the pain while you wait.
Feeling stressed lately? If so, you may be clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth as you ponder your problems, in your sleep and during the day. If you’re got a toothache and some tension in your jaw muscles, clenching and grinding are probably the causes of your tooth trouble. This can be dangerous to your teeth in the long term, because it wears down the enamel that protects the surfaces of your teeth, and may eventually lead to more serious tooth problems. So before you go to bed, take a warm bath, or just listen to some calming music as you fall asleep – and you may find some toothache pain relief after a few days.
The roots of your teeth – their lower two-thirds – can develop sensitivity for a variety of reasons. You may have a gum infection, the beginnings of a cavity, or just a lack of important vitamins and minerals in your diet. If your toothache is extra sensitive to hot and cold liquids, and to sour foods and drinks, a sensitive root is probably the cause. You can stop by my office and we’ll be happy to take a look – but in the meantime, lay off the sugary foods and drinks, and avoid anything that’s too hot or cold, as this will irritate the root even more. You can also try switching to a softer toothbrush and gentler dental floss for some toothache relief.
Some of the most serious toothaches are caused by infections in gums and teeth. If left untreated, these can soon progress into major mouth problems that can require dental surgery – so if you’ve got a severe toothache, the best bet is probably to schedule an appointment with the staff at a dentist office like mine. We can diagnose the problem, prescribe treatment, and maybe even help ease the pain until we can fix the problem permanently.
With a little background knowledge, you can treat many mild toothaches yourself with toothache remedies like garlic and cloves. Still, as I – Dr. Paul Caputo – know from experience in my Palm Harbor, FL dental practice, the best of all toothache remedies is prevention. So brush and floss twice a day, eat foods with vitamins and calcium, and stay away from the sweets. Most toothaches can be stopped before they become serious problems.
Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A