What’s Causing Your Tooth Pain?

Toothaches can happen at any time and they can happen to anyone. But that doesn’t necessarily make having a toothache feel any better. When it comes to finding out what’s causing your tooth pain, and how to treat it, there are few steps you can take. However, please note if you’re currently experiencing tooth pain, stop reading, and call your dentist in Lawrenceville immediately. 

Know Your Pain 

Different things can cause different types of tooth pain, so it’s important to try to identify what type of tooth pain you’re experiencing, if it gets worse with certain activities, and if it’s paired with pain anywhere else in your body. Let’s take a look at a few scenarios. 

  • If Pain Gets Worse When Eating Sweets you may have a cavity. A cavity, also known as tooth decay, is an area of your tooth that has, well, decayed. When cavities are little they’re easy to fix with dental fillings, and you may not even know you had a cavity or had any pain. It’s common for tiny cavities to cause little zings of pain when anything sweet touches them. Additionally, if cavities aren’t treated when they’re little, they will grow and start to affect the inner tooth nerves. That’s where the pain comes into play, either while eating sweets or not. 
  • If Your Pain is a Throbbing Type of Pain it can be harder to know what’s really causing your pain. Throbbing tooth pain can be a sign of a cracked tooth, an abscess, or simply something stuck in your gums. A cracked tooth may not immediately cause symptoms, and you probably won’t be able to see it, but if the crack affects the nerves you will feel throbbing pain. Additionally, an abscess, which is essentially a pocket of bacterial infection, can also cause throbbing but is also usually associated with other symptoms such as a bad taste in the mouth, pain in the ears or jaw, or swelling
  • If The Pain Zings While Biting may be a sign of TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. This condition affects the jaw joints and can be caused by numerous things, including teeth clenching or a grinding habit. If your pain gets worse when chewing or biting, zings throughout your mouth, and is accompanied by headaches, jaw pain, or facial pain, talk to your dentist about TMJ disorder and treatment. If not treated, headaches can become worse, teeth can become damaged if you clench and grind, and it can become increasingly painful to chew. 

Again, we can’t stress enough just how important it is to see your dentist in Lawrenceville for a proper examination, diagnosis, and treatment. However, there are a few ways you can reduce tooth pain at home. 

Toothache Tips

At-home toothache relief can help make the pain more bearable before your dental appointment. Different people respond differently to each of these, so try a few options to find what works best for you and your situation. 

  • Floss. Simply flossing can help relieve a toothache, especially if the source of the pain is a forgotten piece of food that wedged its way between teeth or up under the gums. Make sure to floss gently and don’t overdo it. Too much flossing can cause more pain. 
  • Ice. Ice can reduce any swelling, reduce inflammation, and ease the pain. Make sure that you cover your ice pack in a towel or t-shirt before placing it on the outside of your cheek in the affected area. Leave it on for 15 minutes, give yourself at least a 15-minute break, and reapply.  
  • Anesthetic. Over-the-counter oral anesthetic can numb the pain, at least for a little while. Use your preferred anesthetic as directed.  
  • Salt Water. Salt water isn’t only good for relieving a sore throat, it can also help relieve tooth pain. Swish some warm salt water around in your mouth, spit it out, and repeat a few more times. The salt will help remove any fluid that may be putting pressure on the nerves. 
  • Anti-inflammatory Medicine. If you can take anti-inflammatories, they can help to reduce toothache pain by decreasing swelling and pressure on the nerves. Use these only as directed and no matter what the old wives’ tale tells you, do not put any pill directly on the gums or tooth!

Remember, these are temporary, short-term solutions. None are meant to be a permanent fix. Tooth pain is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right, and you should still see your dentist in Lawrenceville for a thorough exam, diagnosis, and custom treatment plan to fix the pain at its source. 

Everyone wants a bright, white smile. But everyday things can take their toll on teeth and cause staining or discoloration. From coffee to wine, to certain medications and beets, it seems that everything we consume can transform our pearly whites into dull, discolored teeth. But, as your dentist in Lawrenceville knows, we don’t need to sit back and simply accept a non-ideal smile. In fact, there are things you can do to protect against tooth staining. 

  • Use Straws

As wine or coffee passes over your teeth, it’s essentially bathing your teeth in staining agents. However, if you use straws instead of sipping directly out of a cup, the liquid bypasses teeth and doesn’t have a chance to stick around, soak in, and cause stains. You may want to consider buying a reusable straw that you can take anywhere. Some restaurants don’t hand out straws anymore, and reusable straws are more environmentally friendly.

  • Switch Your Toothbrush & Toothpaste

Sometimes removing stains is as easy as using the right toothpaste and toothbrush. Whitening toothpaste can safely effectively remove surface stains caused by foods and drinks. Find a toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, so you know you’re buying a brand that’s not only safe but also works. Switching from a manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush can make brushing sessions more efficient and can help you brush each area of your smile for 30 seconds. We recommend talking with your dentist in Lawrenceville about which products are best for your teeth. 

  • Brush Your Teeth

You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time to remove bacteria and plaque buildup and to keep your teeth healthy. However, you should also try to brush your teeth after meals. Removing any staining foods or drinks that came in contact with your teeth during dinner quickly and efficiently can work wonders in reducing the likelihood and severity of stains. However, there are bound to be times when brushing your teeth after a meal isn’t possible. When that happens, rinsing your mouth out with water or chewing sugarless gum can also help.

  • Dental Cleanings

Besides practicing good oral hygiene habits at home and after meals, it’s also crucial that you get professional dental cleanings twice a year. These cleanings can help remove surface stains and brighten your smile. They’re also a great time to talk with your dentist in Lawrenceville about any concerns you may have about the appearance or health of your smile so you can work together to find solutions that fit your wants and needs. 

Tooth discoloration is almost inevitable, even if you follow the tips above perfectly. But we believe that nobody should have to live with a dull smile. Thankfully, there are plenty of cosmetic dentistry treatments available to fix anything that bothers you. From smile whitening to veneers, your ideal smile is possible. Call us today to schedule an appointment. 

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Dr. Scalia

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