Pain draws attention to negative changes in your body – if it hurts, it wants fixing. First aid for toothache mainly involves painkillers or cold compresses. However, such painkillers suppress the symptoms rather than solve the problem.
How to identify toothache pain?
Dental practice distinguishes between several types of pain. Stinging, dull, sharp or throbbing pain is a symptom of various types of dental issues caused mainly by infection and bacteria. Dental pain can signal many diagnoses, including tooth decay. It can be a symptom of exposed dentine, periodontitis, dental pulp inflammation, periostitis, wisdom teeth growth, jaw joint injury/wear, etc. In the event of severe pain, the pain may not be easily localised in all cases. For dental cavities, many teeth usually hurt, with the problem only being identified in the dentist's chair. Yet periodontitis is severe pain with a relatively simple localisation. Revealed tooth roots are sensitive to temperature changes and can also be localised very easily. When the wisdom teeth are growing, pain can be caused by insufficient jaw space and the growth process. In addition to the teeth, mouth pain can also cause problems such as mucosal diseases, and injuries or wearing of the jaw joint. Pain that indicates a problem in the jaw joint can reach the facial bones, where swelling then occurs. Pain in a defective jaw joint is sharp in the active state and dull when at rest.
It is recommended to pul cold compresses on painful areas to calm the pain. The application of warm compresses promotes unfavourable inflammatory activity. When a painkiller is insufficient, we recommend visiting your dental clinic right away.
Examples of toothache:
- Broken tooth enamel - The broken tooth enamel reveals the dentine, increasing the teeth sensitivity to temperature changes. Erosion of the tooth enamel appears as localised cracks and then cracked teeth, which are often painful and require your dentist’s intervention. First aid for the symptoms of broken tooth enamel is primarily a calming mouthwash. Erosion of the dental enamel can be caused by several factors, including unprofessional teeth whitening or the long-term neglect of oral hygiene.
- Revealed dental roots - The revealed dental roots and enamel erosion result in increased tooth sensitivity. Heat or cold increases pain at the exposed dentine. Like the pain of eroded dental enamel, the exposed dental roots also hurt throughout the night. First aid can simply be a glass of lukewarm water and lukewarm mashed food. The sensible use of freely available painkillers is also appropriate. If the pain persists, we recommend visiting a dentist.
- Tooth decay - Pain caused by dental cavities is characterised by the fact that the pain site cannot be accurately found. Tooth decay does not hurt in its early stages, but if there is irritation of the dental pulp or nerves, pain often appears which is pulsating and stabbing. A dentist must be immediately consulted, even if the pain temporarily stops.
- Periostitis - Periostitis of the jaw results in painful symptoms as it’s a severe inflammatory infection of the mouth and jaws. Learn more about the symptoms and consequences of untreated periostitis here. For periostitis, the commonly available drugs usually don’t completely alleviate the pain. In the case of periostitis, see a dentist immediately! Stronger painkillers can be prescribed by a dentist.
- Post-dental procedure pain - A dental procedure can also result in the patient’s pain. As there are many dental surgery procedures, it’s always advisable to ask the dentist everything about the post-operative conditions and potential complications. If the pain increases or changes post-procedure outside the norms, consult your dentist.
Pain is an important response of our bodies. This way, the body warns us against risks and dangers. The same is true of oral cavities, where just curing a toothache isn’t enough. The use of painkillers in children or pregnant women is risky. If a toothache occurs during pregnancy, we recommend visiting a dental emergency department as soon as possible. Toothache in children can be temporarily dealt with by age-appropriate painkillers. The teeth affect the whole body, so in the case of pain visit a dentist or dental emergency room, and only take the prescribed dose of painkillers.