Causes of Severe Tooth Pain
This section explores the different causes of severe dental pain and how to handle them.
When bacteria in the mouth infect the tooth and cause pus to gather, it leads to an abscessed tooth. This condition can lead to severe tooth pain, fever, and palpitation.
An abscessed tooth must be treated immediately, or the infection can spread to other body parts. Treatment options include antibiotics, drainage of the infected tooth and cleaning, root canal, or tooth extraction.
When the gum tissue that protects the roots of your teeth wears away, it exposes the sensitive roots, leading to dental pain. It’s caused when bacteria infect the gums and the connective tissue around your teeth. The pain you feel with gum disease can vary from mild discomfort to severe pain. Worse pain can occur while eating.
Gum recession often occurs naturally with age, but poor oral hygiene can also cause it. The best way to treat gum recession is to get a dental crown or gum grafts that replace the lost gums to protect the roots of your teeth.
Your dental consultant will inspect your gums and recommend appropriate medication and treatment options, like deep cleaning, scaling, root planing, or antibiotics.
Grinding your teeth at night puts immense pressure on your teeth and can cause throbbing tooth pain and tooth fractures as well. Over time, teeth grinding can lead to broken teeth, cavities, and throbbing tooth pain. Wearing a mouthguard while sleeping or avoiding alcohol and caffeine can help treat the condition.
Tooth decay is caused when bacteria in the mouth interact with sugar, creating acid that eats away at your teeth. It originates from the outer layer of the tooth and can be treated by a dentist.
As tooth decay progresses, it leads to severe tooth pain, damaged teeth, and nerve damage, which can cause sensitive teeth.
Tooth decay pain can result from cavities or fractures in the teeth, and it typically causes a dull, constant ache. Your dentist may recommend fillings, crowns, or root canals to treat this pain, depending on the severity and the extent of tooth decay.
For example, an accident or injury to your teeth during sports can cause throbbing tooth pain. The trauma can cause tooth fractures, cracked tooth, or make the tooth loose from the socket.
In such cases, treatment options include dental bonding, root canal therapy, or extraction of the damaged tooth.
Impacted Teeth Pain
It’s caused when a tooth cannot emerge into the mouth fully. Impacted teeth can be very painful, causing discomfort in the jaw and swelling around the affected area. In this case, a dentist will be the right person to seek medical attention from. They will evaluate your situation and recommend treatment options like extraction or surgery.
Wisdom Teeth Pain
It’s caused when the third set of molars, also called wisdom teeth, cause discomfort or pain during the eruption. Wisdom teeth can crowd existing teeth and cause misalignment, making it necessary to have them removed. An oral surgeon will be best suited to evaluate and treat this type of pain by performing wisdom tooth extraction.
TMJ Disorder Pain
It’s caused when the joint between your jawbone and skull becomes inflamed or damaged, leading to pain while eating or speaking. Your dentist is best suited to treat mild cases of TMJ disorders. They may recommend exercises to stretch and relax the jaw or prescribe medication to alleviate the pain.
Home Remedies for Relief
This section will discuss some effective home remedies for tooth pain relief.
Saltwater is a natural disinfectant that can decrease inflammation and kill bacteria in the mouth. Wash your mouth with lukewarm salt water for 30 seconds, spit it out, and repeat it several times daily. It can help ease tooth pain and fight infections.
Clove oil has been used for centuries as an organic remedy for toothaches. It contains eugenol, a compound that is a natural anaesthetic and antibacterial agent.
Apply a few drops of clove oil onto a cotton ball and gently place it on the affected tooth. Leave it briefly, then rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
An ice pack can reduce swelling by numbing the area. Place an ice pack outside your cheek near the painful tooth for 15-20 minutes. Repeat several times a day as needed.
Ginger root has anti-inflammatory qualities that can help reduce pain and swelling. Cut a small piece of ginger root and chew it on the side of your mouth where the tooth is hurting. Alternatively, you can make tea by steeping sliced ginger root in hot water for several minutes, then drink it.
Peppermint tea contains menthol, which can soothe tooth pain and reduce inflammation.
Mix a tea bag in hot water for several minutes, let it cool, and swish it around your mouth before swallowing. Drink peppermint tea several times a day to relieve tooth pain.
Over-the-Counter Treatments for Severe Tooth Pain
Here, we will explain some of the best OTC treatments for severe tooth pain and how to use them.
Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen
These pain relievers are the first line of treatment for severe tooth pain. Acetaminophen blocks the pain messages sent to the brain, while ibuprofen reduces inflammation.
Taking both medications alternatively can help relieve pain and swelling effectively. Always take the recommended dosage and read the label before taking them. Do not take ibuprofen if you have stomach ulcers or are allergic to it. In such cases, aspirin may help relieve the pain, but it should be avoided for children under 16.
Orajel or Anbesol
These are topical pain relievers that numb the affected area. These products block nerve endings, reducing the pain signals sent to the brain. Apply a small amount of gel to the tooth, wait a few minutes, and rinse your mouth with warm water. Be careful not to swallow it because it can numb your gums and throat, making it difficult to swallow.
Hydrogen peroxide is an item found in almost every household, and it can be used to relieve tooth pain. Mix the hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water, and swish the solution in your mouth for a few seconds before spitting it out. This will help kill bacteria and reduce inflammation, leading to pain relief. It’s important not to swallow the solution and avoid using hydrogen peroxide higher than 3%.
Tips for Preventing Future Severe Tooth Pain
This section will share some simple but effective tips to help you avoid severe tooth pain.
Brush and Floss Properly
One of the most important tips for preventing sharp pain is brushing and flossing your teeth correctly. Brush your teeth at least two times and floss at least once. Pay attention to the back of your mouth and all the hard-to-reach areas. Regular brushing and flossing can protect you from tooth decay and gum disease, two major causes of throbbing pain.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
Your food consumption can contribute to severe tooth pain. Avoid sugary food and drinks, especially between meals. Sugar can cause cavities that lead to severe tooth pain when left on your teeth for a long time. Instead, choose healthy foods and drinks such as water, fruits, and vegetables.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Regular dental checkups are an important part of preventing severe tooth pain. Your dentist can identify potential dental problems and address them before they escalate. Ensure you see your dentist after six months for an exam and cleaning.
Wear a Mouthguard
Wearing a mouthguard is important if you participate in contact sports or have a habit of teeth grinding while sleeping. Athletic mouthguards are designed to protect your teeth while you play sports, while night guards can protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. Teeth clenching and grinding can cause severe tooth pain and even cracked or broken teeth, leading to more discomfort.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride products like toothpaste and mouthwash can help prevent tooth decay, a major cause of severe tooth pain. Fluoride strengthens the enamel, making your teeth more resistant to decay. Be sure to use fluoride products regularly and as directed.
Dental Treatment Options for Relieving Severe Tooth Pain
This section will explore various dental treatment options for relieving severe tooth pain.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is the most effective dental treatment for severe tooth pain. This is usually recommended when the inner tooth pulp has become inflamed or infected, causing excruciating pain. The dental professional will eliminate the inflamed or infected pulp during the treatment and clear the tooth inside. They will then add the tooth filling and seal it to prevent further infection.
If the tooth is severely damaged and cannot be retrieved, tooth extraction may be the best course of treatment. Tooth extraction involves removing the tooth entirely to alleviate the pain and prevent the spread of any infection. In this case, the dentist may also recommend a restorative treatment such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures to replace the missing tooth.
When a bacterial infection causes tooth pain, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help clear up the infection and help in mild toothache relief. Antibiotics can also help to reduce the swelling and inflammation associated with tooth infections. Taking the full course of antibiotics as your dentist prescribes is important to ensure the infection is completely treated.
The dentist may suggest a dental crown if the tooth is severely damaged but can still be saved. A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is adjusted over the damaged tooth to restore it to its original shape and size. This treatment can help alleviate pain and improve the tooth’s appearance.
Final Thoughts on Dealing with Severe Tooth Pain
Tooth pains can be uncomfortable and even debilitating, so taking action as soon as possible is important. While some home remedies may help in the short term, they are no substitute for professional care.
If you are experiencing throbbing tooth pain or any other dental concern, consider setting up an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist immediately.
They will be able to find the cause of your pain and make a plan to restore your oral health and provide you with the relief you deserve. At Hammondville Dental, our team of experienced dentists has been helping patients achieve beautiful smiles for years. Contact us at (02) 9000 1237 to book an appointment today, and let us take care of all your dental needs!
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.