Throbbing Tooth Pain
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Table of Contents
- Common Causes of Tooth Pain
- Relieving Tooth Pain
- When to See a Dentist
Toothaches are a common dental ailment, and you may experience minor discomfort because of dental decay, a dental injury or gum disease. But sometimes you develop a throbbing tooth that presents so much pain that you must deal with it immediately.
The pain can scare you because you can’t always be sure of what’s causing it, so you’re not sure how to make it go away.
While you wait to see your dentist for a verdict on the cause and solution, you can use several at-home remedies to help relieve your pain. Monitor your symptoms carefully and be ready to visit your local dental office quickly if you believe your condition isn’t improving and you’re weary of dealing with the discomfort.
Common Causes of Tooth Pain
Intense pain in a tooth usually develops because of a problem with your teeth or gums. The most common causes include:
- An untreated cavity
- A dental abscess
- An infection
- Loose or broken fillings
- Trauma to the tooth from a punch, fall, or other severe impact
- A cracked or broken tooth
- Infected or inflamed pulp inside your tooth
- Inflamed gums or advanced gum disease
Pain can also occur for reasons that have nothing to do with the state of your oral health. Among them:
- A recent dental cleaning. People with sensitive teeth might feel a bit sore after a routine cleaning at their dentist’s office.
- Freshly tightened braces. Orthodontists often warn their patients that their teeth may be sensitive for some time after their braces are adjusted.
- Neurological issues. Certain neurological conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia can cause intense facial pain that may be mistaken for tooth pain.
Remedies for Relieving Tooth Pain
Regardless of the underlying cause of your toothache, there are several things you can try to relieve your pain. Home treatments include cold compresses, ice packs, ointments, oral medications and mouth rinses. If your pain is particularly bad, you may want to combine two or more of these remedies.
You can buy several topical ointments containing benzocaine or lidocaine (mild numbing agents) at your local drug store. Some common brand names for these products include:
When applied to the gums at the site of your toothache, these ointments dull your sensation in this area, helping your toothache pain feel less overwhelming.
These products are safe for adults, but the FDA recommends that they not be used on young children due to the risk of them developing a rare condition called Methemoglobinemia. If your child is suffering from a toothache, it is best to choose an alternate remedy.
When to See a Dentist
A throbbing tooth sometimes indicates a more serious problem. If so, these issues will not resolve themselves without professional treatment. Schedule a visit with your dentist immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Pain that does not go away after two or more days
- Pain that does not respond to pain medication
- A fever
- Swelling of the face, jaw, or gums
- Visible damage to the tooth, including chips, cracks, and broken areas
- Sharp pain when you bite down
- Lingering pain when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures
- A bad taste or smell in your mouth
- Visible pus coming from a sore inside your mouth
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Safely Soothing Teething Pain and Sensory Needs in Babies and Older Children. (May 2018). Food and Drug Administration (FDA).