Ow, Ouch, Yowzah: Treating Toothaches

polkcity-toothacheWithout treatment, even a minor toothache can become something substantially more painful and dangerous. Dr. Ryan Hussong recommends scheduling an office visit as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Several problems cause tooth pain, including:

  • Teeth grinding and jaw clenching, or bruxism
  • Traumatic injury to the tooth
  • An abscess or infection
  • An imbalanced bite
  • Disorders of the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ

Teeth and gums aren’t always the cause of dental symptoms. For example, ear and sinus infections cause pain, but these symptoms are typically experienced along with a headache. Angina, or chest pain, can also cause jaw and tooth pain. If he believes that an underlying health condition is to blame for your symptoms, your dentist may recommend seeing a specialist.

Treating Your Toothache at Home

Begin by rinsing with warm salt water. If you believe food is lodged between your teeth, attempt to gently remove it using dental floss. Do not use a sharp instrument, such as a toothpick, as this could inflict serious damage. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication to treat your discomfort. It’s also a good idea to purchase a topical dental antiseptic and pain reliever, preferably one that contains benzocaine, a numbing agent. Applying clove oil directly to the affected area will have a numbing effect, too. If the pain stems from an injury to your mouth, apply an icepack to the area for temporary relief from swelling and pain.

Treatment Options in Our Office

Dr. Hussong will examine your teeth and gums to determine the most probable source of pain. If a visual inspection does not yield results, he will take digital x-rays to see whether the problem is a bone disorder, impacted tooth, or crack. You may require prescription antibiotics and pain medications to promote healing and relief. If the innermost part of your tooth has been compromised by decay, Dr. Hussong will perform a root canal treatment to clean out the infection and decayed nerve tissues.

Timely treatment is essential. To learn more about treating toothaches, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ryan Hussong, contact our Polk City, IA dentist office at (515) 984-6001. We welcome patients living in Grimes, Des Moines, Ames, Ankeny, and the surrounding areas.