Toothache pain is among the most debilitating pains that people can experience. Something has caused the nerve of a tooth to become hypersensitive. Bacteria present in the mouth produce acid as a byproduct of their breakdown of food, especially sugar. The acid dissolves enamel and starts the decay process (formation of a “cavity”.) The closer the bacteria are to the nerve at the bottom of the “cavity” or decayed portion of the tooth, the more irritated the nerve becomes. If not cleaned out thoroughly and securely sealed by your dentist a toothache will develop.
Regular checkups and follow up with recommended treatment can minimize toothaches from developing. Ridding yourself of a toothache might be accomplished by placing a cotton ball soaked with oil of cloves or Orajel and placing it over the aching tooth. If the tooth is infected it may cause the jaw to swell. Placing a cold pack with ice chips or frozen peas on the swollen area should minimize additional swelling and perhaps provide some relief until you are able to see your dentist.
Bruxing (grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw muscles) can also cause the nerves of your teeth to become hypersensitive. The trauma from habitually grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw muscles can cause toothaches.
A healthy position for you to maintain your jaw at rest is with the teeth slightly separated, not tightly locked together. The teeth should only touch or come together when you are eating. During the day make a conscious effort not to clench your teeth together or grind your teeth together. While you are sleeping, the bruxing habit that began during the day can continue causing premature wear of the teeth, toothaches, and headaches. A custom made night guard may be needed to eliminate or minimize pain and toothaches from this destructive habit.
A fractured tooth can be caused by an injury or accidental blow to the mouth. If the nerve is exposed, as a result of the injury, the pain can be intense. As a temporary toothache remedy, try to insulate or shield the throbbing nerve from air or temperature extremes. A small cotton ball with a few drops of oil of cloves or Anbesol placed in the tooth may provide some temporary toothache pain relief. Seeing a dentist as soon as possible should allow a more permanent toothache relief.
A wisdom tooth this is trying to come in may also cause fairly severe discomfort. Sometimes a wisdom tooth is blocked by an adjacent tooth from erupting into a normal position within the mouth. If the tooth has broken through the gum, part of the pathway for bacteria to surround the tooth and cause an infection in the gum. A toothache remedy for this is to keep the gum as clean as possible. Use a soft bristle toothbrush soaked in hot water to soften the bristles even more before gently cleaning around the irritated gum. Rinsing with a solution of warm salt water or a mixture of peroxide and water may also provide some toothache relief. Over the counter pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen may also serve as a toothache remedy until you can see your dentist.
A recently placed filling, crown or onlay can cause a toothache if the new “bite” has some interference and not let the teeth come together in a comfortable manner. Sometimes when the jaw is numbed during dental treatment a patient cannot close together in a normal bite when the new dental restoration is evaluated. A minor adjustment by your dental professional to a new crown or filling that is striking first or “hard” can be a simple toothache remedy.
Toothbrush abrasion and recession of the gums from scrubbing back and forth too forcefully with a hard bristle toothbrush can cause teeth to be hypersensitive. The protective layer on the outside of the tooth has been worn away by a too vigorous scrubbing action. Toothache pain relief from this condition may be possible by using a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste, like Prevident 5000 for sensitive teeth. Gently rubbing Sensodyne Toothpaste at the gum line with your fingertip may also provide toothache pain relief. Changing the way you brush your teeth from an aggressive “attacking” style of brushing to a more gentle circular motion with a soft bristle toothbrush may allow the teeth to remineralize in the presence of fluoride in toothpastes and the naturally occurring minerals within the saliva.