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When should you see a dentist about a toothache?

Modern life can be taxing on our minds and bodies, and often times, in the midst of working and playing we have minor aches and pains that we can usually ignore, but sometimes, they’re severe or persistent enough that they demand our attention. Especially in regards to your teeth, it is crucial to pay attention when something might be going wrong.  A minor or temporary toothache can have several causes, some of which may be related sinus trouble, but others can have a more serious cause that requires immediate attention.

The symptoms of a toothache include: when should you see a dentist about a toothache?

  • Tooth pain that’s sharp, throbbing, or constant. In some people, pain results only when pressure is applied to the tooth.
  • It lasts longer than 1 or 2 days
  • Swelling around the tooth
  • Fever, earache, headache or pain when you open your mouth wide
  • Foul-tasting drainage from the infected tooth

The most common causes of a persistent and severe toothache include tooth decay, an abscessed or fractured tooth, a damaged filling, repetitive motions, such as chewing gum or grinding teeth, or infected gums.  Proper identification and treatment of dental infections is important to prevent its spread to other parts of the face and skull and possibly even to the bloodstream.  Even if you don’t currently have dental coverage, you can find a cheap dentist in the Phoenix area who can address the causes of your toothache.

Until you can see your dentist, try these self-care tips for a toothache:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Use dental floss to remove any food particles or plaque wedged between your teeth.
  • Take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever to dull the ache, but don’t place aspirin or another painkiller directly against your gums because it may burn your gum tissue.
  • Sparingly apply an OTC antiseptic containing benzocaine directly to the irritated tooth and gum for temporary relief.
  • Apply oil of cloves (eugenol) on a small piece of cotton directly to the sore tooth and gum to numb the area.
  • If the toothache is caused by trauma to the tooth, apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek.
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