An aching tooth could be a sign of more than a bit of sensitivity. If the tooth started to ache following a blow or you have significant redness or swelling close to it, then it could be a sign that you have an abscess or severe infection that might, if left untreated, lead to the loss of your tooth. Under such circumstances, it would be advisable to seek emergency dental treatment, especially if the tooth in question feels wobbly. Not all toothache requires an emergency dental appointment, however. What should you do if your tooth has just started to ache?
Take Pain Relief
Most dentists would agree that if you have no other symptoms that suggest you are facing a dental emergency, then over-the-counter painkillers should be taken to dull the discomfort you feel. Always stick to the advice on the label and don't exceed the dosage. If the pain continues to rise, then seek an emergency dental appointment. Your dentist should keep some appointment slots open for just these sorts of circumstances when severe toothache hasn't waned even when you have taken painkillers.
Apply a Cold Compress
Ice packs or cold compresses are another remedy that can be beneficial when dealing with oral pain. Applying a cold pack to the affected side of the face. Don't be tempted to put an ice cube in your mouth, though. Ice packs or cold compresses should be held in place for 15 minutes or so. They can help to reduce any swelling you may be suffering from. Equally, cold will help to numb the affected area, providing temporary relief from the pain as nearby blood vessels contract. Make sure that the ice doesn't touch the skin directly. Instead, wrap it in a thin cloth or towel. Seek further guidance from your dentist if the redness has worsened or the tooth begins to wobble following the application of a couple of cold compresses. This may indicate you are in danger of losing the tooth, something cold treatments cannot help with.
Improve Oral Hygiene
Managing toothache requires you to have a good oral hygiene regime. Ensuring your mouth is clean can sometimes help identify the cause of the pain and even alleviate it. If you rinse your mouth gently with lukewarm salt water, for example, it will function as a natural disinfectant. It could also assist with dislodging any trapped food that might be causing the pain. On the other hand, if the rinse leaves your gum or cheek in more severe pain, then it may be you have an abscess which would necessitate an emergency dental visit. Either way, you'll know how to proceed by rinsing your mouth in a saline solution.
For more information on toothaches, contact a professional near you.