You may not have known that February 9th is a national holiday. No, it's not New Year's Day or President's Day, but it is National Toothache Day! Toothaches are not really something to celebrate, but this is a great occasion to learn a bit more about them, how to prevent them, and what to do if you develop one.
What are toothaches?
A toothache is any pain in and around your tooth. Sometimes toothaches can cause sharp, piercing pains, and other times they are more of a dull ache. The discomfort may come and go, or it may remain constant.
What causes toothaches?
There are several possible causes of toothaches. The most common of these is cavities. Once a cavity gets large enough, it can extend into the sensitive tissues of your teeth and irritate your nerves. The pain may begin as sensitivity to heat and cold and then progress to a more consistent ache.
A toothache can also be caused by an infection that extends into the root of your tooth. In this case, the pain can get very intense, and the infection can spread if not treated properly. Toothaches can also occur after you chip or crack a tooth.
How are toothaches treated?
If you have a toothache, your dentist will examine your mouth, possibly take some x-rays, and then recommend treatment based on the cause of your toothache. If you have a cavity, getting it filled should ease the pain. Repairing a chip with dental bonding or covering a fractured tooth with a crown should help.
If you have an infection, you may need a root canal and to have the tooth covered with a crown. Sometimes your dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic to keep the infection from spreading.
How can you prevent toothaches?
In honor of National Toothache Day, you can take a few steps to prevent this discomfort:
- Brush and floss thoroughly to reduce your risk of tooth decay.
- Visit your dentist twice a year to ensure cavities are detected and treated before they start causing pain.
- Always wear a mouth guard when playing sports to prevent chipped and cracked teeth.
- Avoid sugary foods and beverages like soda and fruit juice.
If it has been a while since you've had a dental checkup, make National Toothache Day the day you catch up! Contact us to schedule your appointment today.