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Severe Toothache: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Severe Toothache: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

A severe toothache is a painful experience that can be caused by a number of different factors. It can be a result of dental decay, infection, trauma, or other dental problems. Those who suffer from severe toothaches often experience throbbing and shooting pains, making it difficult to carry out daily activities. It’s essential to see a dentist immediately if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. An emergency dentist can help relieve your pain and treat the underlying causes.

Symptoms of a Severe Toothache

Symptoms of a severe toothache can vary depending on the cause. Common symptoms include:

      • Throbbing and shooting pains: A throbbing pain is an intense, deep ache that comes in waves and lasts several minutes or longer. Shooting pain is sudden and sharp, often lasting only a few seconds. These types of pains can occur due to infection, tooth decay, or trauma to the tooth or surrounding area.

      • Tooth sensitivity: Tooth sensitivity is often a sign of inflammation in the area of the tooth. This can be accompanied by pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages.

      • Pain when chewing or biting down: This pain generally originates from the tooth itself or from inflammation in the surrounding area. Pain when biting down can be especially sharp and intense, and may be accompanied by swelling and tenderness near the affected area.

      • Swelling of the gums around the affected tooth: Swelling of the gums is often the result of an infection or abscess in the area and can cause significant discomfort. You may also experience facial swelling if the infection has spread beyond the gums.

      • Bad breath: Bad breath can indicate an underlying dental issue, such as tooth decay or a periodontal infection. If you notice that your breath has become particularly unpleasant, it’s essential to see a dentist right away to diagnose and treat the cause of the problem.

    Other symptoms may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, bad taste, and headaches, depending on the severity of the infection or decay.

    Causes of a Severe Toothache

    A severe toothache can be caused by various factors, including dental decay, infection, trauma, and other dental problems. Some of the most common causes include:

    #1. Tooth Decay and Cavities

    Tooth decay and cavities are one of the most common causes of toothaches. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth produce acid that erodes your enamel and dentin, eventually leading to a hole or cavity in the tooth. This can cause sharp pain and sensitivity as well as a feeling of pressure on the affected tooth. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications, such as an abscessed tooth or infection.

    #2. Tooth Abscess

    A tooth abscess is a buildup of pus in the spaces between the teeth and gums caused by a bacterial infection. It can cause severe pain and swelling in the affected area and if left untreated, can spread to other parts of the mouth or body. Symptoms of a tooth abscess include throbbing pain, sensitive teeth, fever, bad breath, and a metallic taste in the mouth.

    #3. Dental Trauma

    Dental trauma can cause severe toothaches due to the damage caused to the dental tissues. This type of trauma can be caused by various factors, including physical accidents, falls, sports injuries, or biting down on something hard. It can lead to fractures in the teeth, loosening of fillings or crowns, and displacement of teeth from their socket.

    #4. Impacted Wisdom Tooth

    Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to erupt, usually when you’re between the ages of 17 and 25. Sometimes these teeth don’t erupt in the correct position and become impacted or trapped in the jawbone. This can cause severe tooth pain and other symptoms, such as swelling in the area around the impacted tooth, and difficulty opening your mouth.

    #5. Sinusitis

    Sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissue in your sinuses, which can cause a toothache due to pressure and pain in the affected area. This condition can be caused by a variety of different factors, including allergies, viruses, and bacterial infections. Symptoms of sinusitis include headaches, facial tenderness in the affected area, congestion or stuffiness in the nose, and drainage from the nose.

    #6. Gum Disease

    Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that can cause inflammation and pain. It is usually caused by plaque buildup on the teeth and can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Symptoms typically include red, swollen gums, bleeding when brushing or flossing, receding gums, and bad breath.

    Managing a Toothache at Home

    When dealing with a toothache, it’s important to take the right steps in order to reduce pain and discomfort. Here are some tips for managing tooth pain at home:

        1. Take Pain Relievers: Taking over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin can help to reduce the pain and discomfort of a severe toothache.

        1. Rinse with Warm Salt Water: Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help reduce swelling and inflammation and relieve some of the pain. Add about one teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water, swish it around in your mouth for a few minutes, then spit it out.

        1. Apply a Cold Compress: Placing a cold compress on the side of your face near the affected tooth can help to reduce pain and swelling.

        1. Avoid Certain Foods: You should avoid eating hot or cold foods and anything that may be hard or chewy, as this can worsen the pain.

        1. Visit Your Dentist: If you can’t manage your pain at home, make an appointment with a dentist to get the proper treatment.

      Treatment Options for Severe Tooth Pain

      A toothache can be treated in a variety of ways depending on the cause. The most important step is to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible so they can properly diagnose and treat the underlying issue. Some of the most common treatments for severe toothache include:

      #1. Fillings and Crowns

      If the toothache is caused by decay or cavities, your dentist may recommend filling the cavity or having a root canal. If it is the result of an abscessed tooth, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection and reduce pain and swelling. For more severe cases, a crown may be recommended to restore the tooth’s structure and prevent further damage.

      #2. Root Canal Therapy

      Root canal therapy is a procedure used to treat infected and damaged pulp (consisting of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues) inside the tooth. During this procedure, the dentist removes the damaged tissue and fills the cavity with a special material to seal it off from further infection. This treatment is typically used when a severe toothache is caused by decay or an abscess.

      #3. Tooth Extractions

      In some cases, a severe toothache may require an extraction. This is typically done when the damage to the tooth is too extensive to be repaired or if the infection has spread beyond the pulp of the tooth. Depending on your situation, your dentist may recommend a simple extraction or a surgical one.

      Schedule a Consultation at Artesa Dental Today

      If you are experiencing a severe toothache and are looking for the right treatment, it’s essential to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

      At Artesa Dental, our team of experienced dental professionals will take the time to carefully diagnose your condition and provide treatments tailored to your individual needs.

      About Dr. Amanda Backstrom

      Dr. Backstrom was born and raised in Georgia and graduated magna cum laude with a BS degree in Biology from the University of Georgia in 2002. She earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine from Tufts University in Boston in 2007.

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