None of us like to visit the dentist, but when it comes to Dental Pain and Toothache, the dreaded dental clinic can seem like the only option.
You could try natural toothache remedies and painkillers to provide temporary relief, but ultimately, if your dental pain is caused by an underlying problem such as tooth decay, gum disease, or a recent trauma, you may need the help of a medical professional to get to the ‘root’ of the problem, and ease that throbbing ache that can make you feel like your head is going to explode.
Dental Pain: Top Likely Causes & Treatments that Work
Dental pain can be caused by a number of different things, but it is generally caused when the nerves inside the tooth’s pulp chamber are exposed or damaged. Symptoms can range from sensitive to severe, and treatments vary, depending on the type of dental pain you are experiencing.
Cause 1: Tooth Decay
Tooth Decay is the number #1 cause of dental pain and toothache, and if you do not visit the dentist regularly, this could well be the cause of your pain. Small cavities are general painless, but once the decay starts to work its way through the dentin and into the inner pulp chamber, intense pain can occur.
Unfortunately, the only treatment for dental pain caused by tooth decay is a visit to your dentist who may remove the nerve (root canal treatment), fill the tooth, or in the worst case scenario, remove the decayed tooth altogether.
Cause 2: Advanced Gum Disease
If your gums are red and inflamed and you are experiencing a throbbing, pulsating type of pain, the chances are, your dental pain is being caused by advanced gum disease. A serious condition that affects the teeth, gums and bones supporting the teeth, gum disease can result in tooth loss if left untreated.
Depending on the severity of your gum disease, your dentist will probably prescribe a course of antibiotics, prescription pain relief, and a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide. You may also require a scale and polish, root planning to remove bacteria beneath the gum line, and periodontal surgery.
Cause 3: Cracked / Fractured Tooth
If the cause of your dental pain or toothache is not obvious (i.e. no signs of tooth decay or gum disease), then it could be down to a concealed crack or fracture. These cracks can occur at any time, and may be caused by bad chewing habits, teeth grinding at night, large fillings, or an accident or injury. Tooth fractures are usually visible on X-rays, but even then, they can be hard to spot.
As with tooth decay, the only way you can treat dental pain caused by a cracked or fractured tooth is with a trip to the dentist. After an x-ray, your dental practitioner will determine the best treatment, this could be nothing at all for minor hairline fractures, or something substantial such as a root canal treatment and the placement of a crown. Unfortunately, if the tooth has cracked all the way down to the roots, extraction is the only ‘cure’.
Cause 4: Dental Abscess
An extremely painful condition that requires medical treatment, a Dental Abscess is caused by bacterial infections that form in the teeth and surrounding tissues. Generally caused by poor dental hygiene and overindulgence in sugary foods, abscesses occur when bacteria builds up in the mouth, causing sensitivity and a deep throbbing pain. There are two main types of dental abscess, periodontal abscess that forms in the gum and bones, and the more common periapical abscess that forms under the tooth.
A dental abscess will not cure itself and it will not heal over time. Medical intervention is essential, and may include antibiotics, root canal treatment, surgery or extraction. Your dentist may also advise you to take painkillers such as Ibuprofen and codeine, which are available to buy online from a registered UK pharmacy, for the short term treatment of your pain.
Cause 5: Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth usually make an appearance by our late 20s, but if there isn’t enough room for them to grow through into the mouth, they could become impacted causing pain and discomfort. This is a very common cause of dental pain the UK, and one that is regularly treated by dentists.
If you have never experienced toothache from your wisdom teeth before, you could try taking over-the-counter painkillers for a day or two to see if your symptoms subside. If not, a trip to the dentist is you only option. Your dental surgeon will then decide if your wisdom teeth should be removed.