Toothache Day: Top 5 types of toothache and how to manage it

Toothache Day: To manage toothache, first find out the cause behind it and treat it accordingly. A dental expert tells you all about it!
Know why your tooth hurts!
Know why your tooth hurts! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Neetika Modi Published: 9 Feb 2023, 10:15 am IST
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Taking care of our health is a top priority, but sometimes in our pursuit of physical wellness, we tend to overlook the importance of oral health. However, oral health plays a crucial role in our overall well-being and should not be neglected. Toothaches can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, and can seriously impact our daily lives. The causes of toothache may differ from person to person. So, let us know about the possible root cause of the problem and how to manage toothache most effectively.

Top 5 types of toothaches

1. Decay-related toothache

Decay-related toothaches are caused by cavities, which occur when bacteria in our mouth produce acid, eroding the enamel and causing cavities. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily helps in preventing decay. Fluoride toothpastes help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay. Reduce your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks. Regular visits to your dentist for check-ups and cleanings are recommended.

2. Gum disease-related toothache

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues surrounding your teeth. Its progression to an advanced stage causes tooth pain. To prevent gum disease, be sure to brush and floss regularly, with routine dental cleanings and check-ups. If you have gum disease, your dentist can recommend treatment options to help manage the condition and relieve toothache.

Tooth cavity
Gum or cavity related issues may cause toothache. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Tooth injury-related toothache

Tooth injury can result from multiple factors like biting on hard foods, playing sports without proper mouth protection and unexpected falls. Using a mouthguard when participating in contact sports, avoiding biting on hard foods and objects are good measures of prevention. A tooth injury requires fast evaluation from a dentist to ascertain the extent of damage and corrective actions.

4. TMJ disorders-related toothaches

TMJ disorders are conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. These disorders can lead to pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, neck and even teeth. Preventive measures include avoiding the clenching of jaws and grinding of teeth, during high stress situations. If you experience persistent jaw pain, a visit to your dentist for an evaluation is advisable.

5. Tooth grinding (Bruxism) toothache

This is the pain caused by grinding or clenching the teeth, which can lead to jaw pain, headaches and tooth sensitivity. Prevention of tooth pain due to this involves reducing stress, no stimulant consumption before bedtime, changing your sleeping position, wearing a mouthguard and addressing underlying medical conditions such as sleep apnea. Consultation with a dentist to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan brings relief.

Bruxism can also be common in children. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Tips to manage and prevent toothache

From medicines to home remedies for toothache, there are many different ways to ensure the pain goes away. Besides that, you should also practice an oral health and hygiene routine properly to keep dental problems away.

1. Pain relief medication

Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with toothaches. Take medication only under the advice of your dentist.

2. Cold compress

Applying a cold compress to the affected area helps in reducing swelling and numbing the pain. This can be an excellent home remedy for toothache management.

Tips to treat toothache
Trust these tips to treat toothache. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Salt water rinse

Rinsing your mouth with salt water can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

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4. Topical gels

Pain relief gel options are available over-the-counter, and can be applied to the affected area to help manage the pain.

Consult your dentist if the pain is not relieved after 2/3 days of application. Oral pain is a symptom of something going wrong and should not be ignored.

5. Annual dental health visit

It’s a good practice to visit your dentist annually to be ahead of any potential discomfort and pain. Do not let oral health slip through the cracks – it is just as important as physical wellness. You can take control of your oral health and keep your smile shining!

Following these tips can help you with toothache relief!

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About the Author

Dr Neetika Modi is a dental surgeon and an expert in cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry. She is currently the Director at Studio Aesthetique in Mumbai, in practice for over 2 decades. She graduated from the Nagpur University School of Dentistry class of 1996, and went on to hone her skills in the US. ...Read More

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