Tooth nerve pain occurs when the outer layers of a tooth are no longer sufficient to protect the nerve inside. Pain can differ depending on the extent of damage to a tooth’s enamel, cementum and dentin. But no matter what kind of pain you’re experiencing, there are always options available for dental pain relief. Knowing more about tooth pain can help you distinguish between a problem that can respond to home treatment and one that’ll require professional treatment from your dentist.
Tooth sensitivity is the most common kind of tooth pain. You’ve probably felt tooth sensitivity while eating something very cold like ice cream, or something very sweet, like candy. Tooth sensitivity can come and go, but for many people it’s an ongoing struggle.
Tooth sensitivity is usually caused when the tooth enamel – which is the most outer layer of your tooth – has eroded. It can also be caused when your gum line receded and a piece of your tooth root is exposed. To avoid further damage to your tooth enamel you should avoid drinking and eating foods that are acidic and contain a lot of sugar. Some things that are associated with enamel erosion include:
- Coffee, soda and other sweetened or acidic beverages.
- Candy and other sweet foods like cake or pudding.
- Sour foods like lemons and pickles that have a high acidity.
- Alcohol consumption dries your mouth, which can lead to tooth decay.
- Using tooth whitening kits too regularly could damage your teeth. If possible, seek other alternatives.
We all eat and drink certain things that are bad for our teeth. That’s why brushing twice daily is important to keep your teeth in a healthy condition. To prevent erosion, you could also rinse your mouth whenever you find food residue or after eating something sweet.
If you want to reduce tooth pain from sensitivity, you could try different toothpastes that are meant to help relieve your pain. Ask your dentist what toothpaste is best for sensitive teeth. Staying away from foods that cause pain due to sensitivity is also recommended.
Tooth Decay Pain Relief
Tooth decay is caused when dental plaque builds up on the teeth. To prevent tooth decay, it’s important to practice proper oral hygiene, but once tooth decay is too advanced, a dental cavity forms.
The signs and symptoms of cavities include clearly visible holes in the teeth, tooth stains, toothache, abnormal tooth sensitivity in a particular tooth and pain when you bite down on something, but not necessarily when you release. For permanent dental pain relief, you should aim to visit a dentist as soon as possible. While waiting for your appointment, there are a few things you can do to help, though:
- Take an over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin. Only drink the medications according to directions on the labels. Don’t make a paste with aspirin and apply it directly on the affected area.
- If there’s any debris in the cavity, gently remove it by rinsing your mouth with lukewarm, salty water.
- If you find that heat is comfortable, you can rinse your mouth with warm water regularly.
- If cold is more comfortable to you, then you can use a cold pack and hold it to your cheek on the sore area.
It’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further decay and potential infections from worsening the problem. Cavities can eventually lead to serious dental abscesses if left untreated for too long.
Whether your tooth is cracked, chipped, or you lost a filling, the the pain from a broken tooth can be excruciating. Depending on the severity of your pain, you might want to consider booking an emergency appointment with a dentist. For pain relief, you can do almost all the same things as with cavities, but there might be sharp edges that you find bothersome. If that’s the case you can gently cover the broken area with sugarless gum. Unfortunately there aren’t reliable, long-term home treatments if a tooth has been broken.
Regardless of whether or not you know what’s causing your toothache, you should visit a dentist if you suspect your problem isn’t normal tooth sensitivity. Often times, booking a dental appointment sooner rather than later will save you time and money in the long-run. Some patients fear going to the dentist, but avoiding your dentist when you have a problem won’t make it disappear, and in many cases it just gets worse.