How to deal with toothaches

Posted on: 19 December 2016


Almost everyone experiences the pain of a toothache at least once in their life, ranging from dull pain that acts as little more than a discomfort to extreme pain that can make eating, sleeping and even just opening your mouth a difficult experience. Whatever the cause behind it, toothaches can be prevented or cured by following a number of basic steps.

How do you prevent a toothache? 

As with many dental related issues and illnesses, your risk of getting a toothache can be prevented by taking good care of your teeth and mouth. Toothaches in particular can be caused by a host of things including infections of the teeth or gum, more serious abscesses, tooth decay, cavities and more. 

You can fight against these and ensure that you're maintaining adequate oral hygiene by sticking with the usual round of brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing regularly, using mouthwash to kill bacteria and booking an appointment with your dentist for a standard check up at least once every six or so months. In addition to this, you should watch your diet. Starchy and sugary foods and drinks, such as sweets and soft drinks, can speed up the build of plaque, a substance made from a combination of saliva, bacteria and food particles, and lead to tooth decay.

How do you easily fix a toothache?

If your toothache is mild, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the uncomfortable sensation. Start by applying something cold, such as an icepack or a bag of frozen vegetables covered in a clean dishcloth, to the part of your face closest to the toothache. This should release the pressure and get rid of the pain. If that doesn't cure it alone, a common over-the-counter painkiller like Panadol should assist. Cleaning your mouth of any food that may be caught between your teeth and causing the pain and rinsing it out with mouthwash to kill bacteria could also help and decrease the likelihood of infection.

What you should do if the easy fixes don't work?

If the above mentioned measures aren't doing the trick, it could mean your toothache is being caused by something more complicated or serious. Dental abscesses, which are pus-filled infections that can cause facial swelling and severe pain, are often considered dental emergencies and require attention as soon as possible. You may need to undergo a root canal, abscess draining, incision or surgery. If the cause is tooth decay, wisdom teeth coming through or fracturing, you may need to get a filling or have a problem tooth extracted.

The best way to know what to do if a toothache doesn't go away is to consult your dentist. They will be able to get to the bottom of what's triggering the toothache and suggest ways of getting rid of it.