We have all suffered from toothache at some point. But what are its causes and what symptoms does it cause? We also discover its treatment and natural advice.
There is nothing more annoying and painful than a toothache. It can appear at any time, without warning, and it can stay with you in your day-to-day life until you decide to go to your trusted dentist or dentist. They appear spontaneously, suddenly, and may limit the ability of the sufferer to act. The truth is that we are facing one of the most common and intense pains. Although it is popularly known as toothache, its exact medical name is odontalgia.
Toothache appears as a result of nerve root stimulation, either by chemical, mechanical or thermal agents. This stimulation causes irritation of the nerve, so that our brain tends to perceive it as a very intense painful stimulus, which is increasing.
What are the symptoms of toothache?
Although the most characteristic is, obviously, the toothache itself, it is characterized by being a constant, intense and dull pain. It tends to present crises that increase the intensity of the pain, to then calm down a bit and reappear again suddenly and insidiously.
On practically all occasions, certain habits or elements tend to aggravate the pain, such as: intense chewing, eating sweets and foods rich in sugar, or very hot or very cold foods or drinks.
When in fact we have a toothache, the most common is that its symptoms appear suddenly, presenting in turn what is medically known as a crisis of increased pain intensity. Or, what is the same, the pain becomes more and more intense as the hours go by, to timidly disappear and reappear again now with greater “force”.
What to do in case of severe toothache?
If you have ever felt a toothache, it is quite likely that by now you already know that the pain itself can range from a mild but constant discomfort to an intense toothache.
In these cases, when the toothache is relatively strong and does not calm down with any drug, it is best to go to the dentist quickly, especially if your regular dentist can treat you urgently even if you do not have an appointment.
It is essential to try to visit the dentist’s office as soon as possible, since it will help us to carry out an adequate medical treatment that will be essential precisely when it comes to relieving pain and discomfort.
The reason is that, if you do not go to the dentist quickly, it is quite possible that more serious problems will occur in the mouth, face or neck, since it could affect the different surrounding tissues.
In any case, while you’re waiting for your appointment with the dentist (especially if they can’t see you urgently, or if they can even do it but the consultation is still closed), it is possible to calm the pain with analgesics such as paracetamol, or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or diclofenac.
Causes of toothache
Although people tend to think that toothache is due to the tooth being pitted (that is, as a result of dental caries), in reality this is not the only cause that can cause it. Moreover, sometimes it is possible that it has nothing to do with dental pathology.
In relation to the causes of toothache, the most common are the following:
- Tooth decay (i.e., chipped back teeth).
- Exposure of dental roots.
- Gingivitis (inflammation and infection of the gums).
- Tooth crack or fracture.
- Dental abscess.
- Oral mucosal lesions.
- Mandibular or optic pathology.
Depending on the cause that caused the appearance of the toothache, other symptoms may arise, which ultimately help to find its origin, such as: bleeding gums, thick and abundant mucus, fever or pain at ear level.
Tooth decay is one of the main causes of toothache. It basically consists of a multifactorial disease, which causes localized and progressive destruction of the hard tissues of the tooth. This tends to destroy the enamel advancing towards the dentin, until reaching the pulp if it is not treated.
It is this involvement of the pulp that causes the inflammatory reaction, and with it the pain as there are many nerve endings in this area.
How is the treatment of toothache:
It is essential to go to the dentist’s office from the moment we begin to feel discomfort or pain in any tooth, which will investigate its own causes and carry out the most appropriate treatment once the painful tooth is examined. Going to the consultation is very important, since otherwise the affected piece can in turn cause problems in the surrounding tissues.
While we wait for the dentist’s appointment, it is advisable to consult with the doctor which drugs can be useful, and especially which ones we can take.
In most cases, analgesics such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti -inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or metamizol are prescribed, which help relieve pain. Since aspirin increases the risk of bleeding, its use is not recommended in case of toothache with bleeding gums.
On the other hand, antibiotics should not be taken without proper medical prescription, since it is quite likely that they are not necessary and will not help at all when it comes to calming and relieving pain.
Some natural tips for a toothache
In addition to following the recommendations of our family doctor and our dentist, it is essential to pay attention to a series of useful tips in case of toothache:
- Avoid very hard foods that require a lot of chewing.
- Avoid excessive chewing, opting only for meals and soft foods.
- Avoid very hot or very cold foods.
- Sweets and sugar make toothaches worse. Therefore, it is best to avoid it.
- Apply cold to the area of your cheek where your tooth hurts. It exerts an anesthetic effect that helps relieve toothache in part. Of course, you should avoid applying the cold directly inside your mouth, as it can be more painful.
- Avoid putting pressure on the painful area. To do this, you must lay your head on the opposite side to the tooth that hurts so as not to lie on the affected side.