It might seem odd for a dental practice to celebrate a day devoted to cavities, but there’s a reason why! Like Barry Cockcroft, former chief dental officer for England, we think it’s important to raise awareness of the many reasons behind this troublesome pain. And that’s why we’re celebrating the US holiday of National Toothache Day on February 9th.
Most people experience toothache at some point in their lives. It’s the throbbing, sensitive or aching sensation we get around our teeth, gums and jaws. It can get worse at night, when lying down, when eating or drinking something hot or cold, and when we bite on it.
Toothache is highly unpleasant and can be a symptom of nasty, lifelong dental problems if not the cause is not treated effectively. We don’t think anyone should have to suffer the nuisance and pain of toothache in the 21st century, which is we want our patients to vow to take better care of their teeth starting this National Toothache Day!
What causes toothache?
Toothache is most often caused by dental decay. This is when plaque starts to build up on the teeth and produce acids which eat away at the enamel causing holes. Minute cracks in the teeth, loose fillings, sensitive teeth and receding gums can also cause toothache.
Other reasons for toothache
There are other reasons you might experience toothache, too, and the symptoms can feel identical. These include sinusitis, particularly around the upper teeth, an ear infection, headaches, temporomandibular joint disorder, bruxism (or teeth grinding and jaw clenching), as well as the common cold.
How do I treat toothache?
You can take paracetamol and ibuprofen for temporary relief from toothache, though make sure you don’t take them for longer than the specified course.
You might also find it helpful to use an ice pack or to raise your head while sleeping as lying flat can cause blood to rush to the affected area, causing a throbbing sensation. Refrain from using a heat pack until you’ve had a dental check-up – if you have a tooth infection, prolonged and direct contact with heat could cause it to spread rapidly.
Take a dental selfie!
We all know it’s important to floss and brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, but here’s another tip: keep your teeth in great shape by taking a dental selfie!
This is super easy with a smartphone and can help you keep track of any changes in your mouth. You can also use the timer on your phone to ensure you’re brushing for the full two minutes – and not taking any shortcuts.
Treat your toothache today
If a toothache persists longer than two days, book an appointment with your dentist. Your toothache might be caused by a non-dental issue, in which case we’ll refer you to your GP. But for tooth-related problems, always see your dentist first.
If your toothache is especially acute, contact us at Number 18 for an emergency dental appointment in Notting Hill.