Ever get a toothache? Of course you have; who hasn’t? At Neal C. Johnson DMD in Billings, we stress the importance of good dental care to all our patients. But Murphy’s Law assures us that if something can go wrong, it will. And that includes getting a toothache.
What Causes a Toothache?
The most common cause of a toothache, by far, is decay. Better known as cavities, decay happens when acids produced by bacteria destroy a tooth’s enamel and the dentin beneath it. Once the dentin is damaged, a tooth becomes very sensitive. That means that a cavity has developed.
If the decay gets too advanced it can affect the tooth at its root. At that point there is a high probability that the tooth will become infected. That will take the toothache to a whole new level of pain, and is a very serious matter. Call us right away.
As common as cavities are, they are not, of course, the only cause of a toothache. Tooth pain may also be caused by gum disease. A more common symptom of gum disease is a dull pain in your mouth, and sensitive, bleeding gums. But tooth pain often accompanies this. Even if there isn’t any tooth pain, if you suspect gum disease you should call us.
Teeth can also get hairline cracks that may not be visible to the naked eye, but will give you pain. The pain could indicate a crack that has made it down to the middle of the tooth, where the root is. It might be the result of some kind of accident, and it won’t necessarily give you pain right away.
What To Do?
For each of these issues we recommend, very strongly, that you come in to see us as soon as possible. In the short term, though, you might relieve pain with one of the following:
- A cold pack, such as an icebag or a bag of frozen vegetables
- An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen
- A salt water rinse with warm water
But don’t do any of the above until you have scheduled an appointment with us. Mild toothaches are irritating, but it could be something more serious that we’ll want to treat right away. Don’t take any chances!
At Neal C. Johnson DMD in Billings we offer complete family dentistry. Patients from Lockwood, Billings Heights, and Laurel also come to us for restorative dentistry, and much more. Schedule your next checkup with us today.
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