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I Have a Severe Toothache: What Should I Do?

Jan 16, 2024
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Toothaches unfortunately prompt many individuals to visit the dentist. While there are ways to minimize the risk of toothaches, there are ways to ease your discomfort if you find yourself dealing with one.

Approximately 22% of adults in the United States have experienced a toothache within the past six months, leading to emergency dental visits for many. Toothaches can range from mild, lasting a few hours or days, to severe pain that conventional painkillers fail to alleviate, indicating potential dental issues.

Our team of experienced professionals at Sabrina E. Mickel DDS & Associates examines and treats numerous cases of aching teeth each month. For severe toothaches, an emergency dentistry appointment at our facility may be necessary, but there are preliminary steps you can take to alleviate the pain.

Understanding the cause of tooth pain

Toothaches, often caused by tooth decay or deep cavities filled with bacteria, are a common occurrence. While mild toothaches may not raise immediate concerns, it's essential to identify the source of your pain. Various factors can contribute to toothaches, including:

  • Infected gums
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Damaged filling
  • Eruption of a tooth from the gums
  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Broken tooth

Though common, it may be challenging to determine whether you need to come in and see us. The key factors to consider are the duration and severity of your toothache. If your pain persists for more than two days or significantly disrupts your daily life, call our team to safeguard the longevity of your natural teeth.

Recognizing additional symptoms

Toothaches may come with additional symptoms, signaling potentially more severe conditions. Swelling, fever, and respiratory symptoms may indicate a need for attention from both our team and your primary doctor. 

Foul-smelling discharge suggests an abscess, which requires professional dental help but is treatable. Chest pains, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath warrant contacting emergency services.

Alleviating toothache pain

For toothaches without additional symptoms, you can ease the pain with over-the-counter pain relievers for initial relief, but combining them with home treatments can be more effective. 

A warm, salty water mouth rinse can sanitize and alleviate your symptoms. Thorough flossing and brushing may surprise you by reducing or eliminating your toothache. If the pain extends to your jaw, a cold compress or ice pack can offer relief until you can consult with us.

Persistent toothache

If your toothache persists, especially to the point where eating or sleeping becomes challenging and medication proves ineffective, reach out to our team at Sabrina E. Mickel DDS & Associates. Call 216-510-9974 or book an appointment online. We’re here to help you recover from your painful toothache.