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What to Do If You Have a Toothache

Toothache can be miserable, and the pain may be continuous or only felt when you try to bite down on the tooth. It is always preferable to see a dentist sooner rather than later for toothache. The more quickly we can diagnose and treat a dental problem, the better the prognosis, and it’s far more likely we can save the tooth and, of course, relieve that discomfort and pain.

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65% of adults have visited the dentist in the past year (2019)*

What Can Cause Toothache?

A toothache can be caused by tooth decay or when a filling has become damaged or is leaking. If a tooth fractures, it can cause tooth pain. Other reasons for toothache include a gum infection or having an abscessed tooth. Clenching and grinding your teeth can result in toothache as this habit damages teeth significantly.

In addition to pain, other signs that something is wrong include noticing the gum around the tooth looks swollen, and if the tooth is severely infected, you may notice you have an unpleasant taste or bad breath. In the worst case, a severe tooth infection can cause a fever or headache and facial swelling and is a situation where emergency dental care is needed. You also need to see a dentist urgently if you cannot open your mouth properly or have developed an earache.

How We Can Help

If you have an aching tooth, please contact our friendly dental team here at Tsawwassen Place Dental for immediate advice over the phone. We can also schedule an urgent dental appointment with Dr. Sarah Harland or Dr. Tom Greene. We always make every effort to see anyone in dental pain as quickly as possible, preferably on the same day and can provide treatment to relieve the discomfort and diagnose the problem.

When you see our dentist, they will want to review your medical history and gently examine the tooth, asking you when the pain started and its severity. You may need a dental x-ray as this will show any damage and infection in the tooth more clearly, helping with diagnosis and treatment. Our dentist uses this information to make a diagnosis and can discuss suitable treatment.

What Is the Treatment for Toothache?

The recommended treatment all depends on the cause of your toothache. If the pain is caused by a failing filling or an untreated cavity, we can fill the tooth and restore it fully. When a tooth is infected, root canal therapy might be necessary and can be extremely effective in saving a tooth from extraction.

A severe tooth infection may need antibiotic treatment, and especially if it is causing a fever or facial swelling. The last resort is to extract a tooth. You can rest assured that we never recommend removing a tooth unless there is no other solution, and we always explore all other options first.

Preventing Toothaches

Toothache is most often caused by tooth decay, a preventable disease. It is just one reason why we strongly suggest patients see us biannually or as often as recommended for checkups and hygiene appointments.

During these checkups, our dentist can examine teeth closely, looking for tiny lesions and soft spots in tooth enamel that can indicate the beginnings of a cavity. Then, they can provide suitable treatment to help reharden tooth enamel or to fill a small cavity. They will also check to ensure you do not have any signs of gum disease, a common infection that can cause tooth loss and even affect overall health. When combined with a good daily oral care routine, this can greatly reduce the risk of toothache and other dental diseases, ensuring you have the confidence of knowing your smile is healthy.

* Source: CDC

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