Toothaches can create a mouthful of pain for anyone dealing with dental problems. Tooth decay is the main reason why toothaches occur, however other reasons include: infection, gum disease, an abnormal bite, and teeth grinding.
Below are some tips to not only prevent but to also provide relief if you have encountered tooth pain.
- Floss Regularly: Food particles sometimes get trapped in places where your toothbrush won’t go. Lodged food particles cause bacteria to grow in between the teeth and gums which will cause abscesses to grow, eventually leading to toothaches. Regular flossing reduces your risk of developing gum disease because it removes the hidden plaque.
- Brush twice daily: Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, brush with a fluoride toothpaste to decrease your risk of getting a cavity.
- Eat Vitamin C: There’s a strong connection between vitamin C and healthy gums. Vitamin C is a powerful antibiotic that destroys bacteria and helps with blood flow and tissue repair. Studies from the American Dental Association show that the less vitamin C one consumes, the greater the risk of periodontal disease.
- Decrease consumption of sugars: Despite what you eat, bacteria is continuously growing on your teeth. This bacteria thrives on sugary substances, and it will only build up and harden after consuming sugary foods. This makes it harder for the bacteria to be cleaned with flossing and brushing and creates an environment for the bacteria to thrive.
- Use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth: According to Colgate, sensitivity occurs on your teeth when enamel is damaged, thinned or eroded which leaves the underlying dentin exposed. Whether you have sensitive teeth or not, toothpastes designed for sensitivity have ingredients to reduce teeth sensitivity which will make you less susceptible to discomfort.
Prevention is key! However, if you have a toothache it’s best to visit a dentist right away, Here are a few tips you can follow to treat the pain if you can’t see your dentist immediately.
- Do a salt water rinse: If your gums are in pain make a salt water rinse and gargle the water in your mouth, paying special attention to the affected area. Repeat 4-5 times daily/or until the pain subsides.
- Keep your head elevated: If you are suffering from a toothache, try sleeping with your head slightly elevated as it limits the effect of increased blood pressure to the head relieving the pain associated with toothaches. It also relieves pressure in blood vessels along sensitive areas of the gum line.
- Drink clove oil: This herb is beneficial as it contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant and anesthetic properties that help alleviate tooth pain and help combat infection.
- Eat small amounts of onions: Onions offer antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that are known to kill the bacteria in the mouth and placing a raw onion on the tooth ache reduces inflammation.
- Take painkillers or Benzocaine: Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen and Aspirin and Benzocaine (often known as Orajel) will help temporarily relieve the pain for most minor toothaches.
- Avoid extreme hot and cold foods: Over time, tiny cracks can develop as your teeth expand and contract with exposure to hot and cold temperatures; this may create erosion in your enamel which may cause tooth aches.
Taking proper care of your teeth through a regular oral hygiene routine can help with sensitivity due to decay and gum disease. Even with the best care, sensitivity can be the result of a cracked tooth or regular wear and tear. By defining your symptoms and seeing your dentist, you can have the healthy teeth you’ve always wanted.
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A version of this post was first published on Altima Dental Blog