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What To Do If You Experience Toothache

National Toothache Day takes place on 9 February this year and serves as a reminder of the importance of taking care of your teeth so you don’t experience unnecessary pain around your teeth and gums.

Causes of Toothache

There are several causes of toothache, but the most common is tooth decay. Tooth decay is also referred to as having dental caries or cavities and occurs when the hard surfaces of your teeth are permanently damaged by bacteria in your mouth and create tiny holes on your teeth. Bacteria is mainly found when you frequently snack or eat a lot of sugar and don’t clean your teeth well. Other causes of toothache can include: a tooth fracture, abscessed tooth, a damaged filling, or infected gums.

Symptoms of Toothache

If you are suffering from toothache, you will likely know immediately, however you should look out for the following symptoms:

  • Sharp or a constant throbbing pain in or around your tooth — it’s usually worse if pressure is applied to the tooth when you are eating

  • Swelling around the tooth

  • Headache or earache

  • Fever

  • Foul-tasting drainage from the tooth

It’s important to monitor your pain and call our dental office in Rosslyn, Arlington if your pain is severe, caused by a trauma, lasts for more than 1-2 days with no improvement, you experience pain when you open your mouth wide, or have a fever/earache because of it. If you have a dental infection it’s important to stop the spread of infection before it goes into your bloodstream. Our team is happy to provide advice on when you need to come in, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Treatments Of Toothache

Dr. Greg LaVecchia will examine your mouth and determine the cause of your toothache. Once this is known, the treatment will be outlined for you. Possible treatments might be filling a cavity, extracting a tooth, a root canal, or an antibiotic if you have an infection.

Toothache Prevention

There are three simple ways of preventing painful dental issues:

  1. Follow good oral hygiene practices — brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss daily.

  2. Visit your Rosslyn dentist — dental exams and cleanings twice a year mean our doctors can spot any early signs of tooth decay or gum infection. Also, with regular professional cleanings, you are much less likely to develop any issues in the first place.

  3. Have healthy habits — this includes not smoking and limiting sugary foods and drinks. This will help avoid dental issues.

If you are experiencing toothache, rinse with warm water to remove any food or debris and floss your teeth to remove any food stuck in between your teeth. Take an over the counter pain medication but don’t apply medication directly to your tooth or gums. If you are ever in a situation that makes you feel like you need to speak with your doctor, please call our office anytime, day or night: 703-528-3336. If you call during non-business hours, our voicemail gives instructions about how to reach the on-call dentist.

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