I Have a Severe Toothache: What Should I Do?

I Have a Severe Toothache: What Should I Do?

Around 22% of adults in the US have had a toothache in the last six months, with many of these toothaches leading to an emergency dental appointment. Toothaches can be mild, in and out within a couple of hours, or a couple of days. But if the pain is severe, and you find that normal painkillers don’t help, something could be wrong with your tooth. 

Our team of warm experienced professionals at Expressions In Dentistry in Folsom, California, treats dozens of aching teeth every month, and we’re always proud to lend a hand. If you’re suffering from a severe toothache, we may need to treat you in our facility with an emergency dentistry appointment, but first, you may be able to help yourself. 

Why is my tooth hurting?

Toothaches are common, with the majority of toothaches caused by tooth decay, or a deep, bacteria-filled cavity. Though a mild toothache rarely causes concern, it might make you wonder what it is that’s causing your pain. A number of things can cause your teeth to hurt, or ache, but common causes include: 

As common as toothaches are, it might seem impossible to know whether or not you need our professional help. The key is time and severity - if your toothache lasts for longer than two days, or if your toothache is so severe that it interferes with your daily life, we need to assist you to protect the longevity of your natural teeth. 

Toothaches can come with additional symptoms, which can indicate a more serious condition. If your toothache is accompanied by swelling or fever, it may not be an issue solely with your tooth. Wheezing, coughing, and other respiratory symptoms may occur with toothaches, necessitating a trip to your provider at Expressions in Dentistry, and your primary doctor. 

If you have a foul-smelling discharge in your mouth, it’s likely that you have an abscess, which produces pus at the site of the infection. Abscesses require professional dental help, but they’re treatable and curable. If chest pains, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath come with your toothache, you should contact emergency services. 

What can I do to stop this pain?

If you have a toothache without additional symptoms, you can do some things to alleviate the pain. Most people’s instinct to reach for an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever is correct, though it may not bring you as much relief by itself as it might if you combine home treatments. 

A mouth rinse with warm, salty water can help your mouth sanitize and ease symptoms of a toothache. You may be surprised to find that your toothache is reduced or eliminated with a thorough flossing and brushing. If your pain reaches your jaw, a cold compress or ice pack should provide relief until you can visit your provider at Expressions in Dentistry. 

I can’t get my toothache to go away.

We’re sorry to hear that, but happy to help you get better. If your toothache is so severe that you’re unable to eat or sleep, and it’s unresponsive to medication, we can help you. If you’re suffering from a painful toothache, contact Expressions in Dentistry today at 916-252-9186, or book an appointment with us online.

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