A man holds his jaw in discomfort.

What to do for a toothache

If you’re experiencing any type of toothache symptoms, contact us today so we can treat you right away.

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When you have toothache pain, we’re here for you

Making you feel comfortable is your Aspen Dental care team’s top priority. So the moment you feel pain it's important to call us right away—no matter how mild or severe it may be.

Toothache symptoms:

Toothache pain can range from mild to severe, depending on the cause. That ache in
your tooth may increase when chewing in the area of the affected tooth or when
consuming hot or cold food or drinks.

Your gum may become swollen or inflamed near the painful tooth. If you notice swelling
to your face, that could be a sign of a more serious infection, and you should call your
Aspen Dental care team right away. If the swelling impacts your ability to breathe or swallow, go to your local ER right away.

You may notice that your gum is red in the area surrounding the affected tooth. This
could signal irritation or infection.

What causes wisdom tooth pain?

Sometimes wisdom tooth pain comes from teeth that haven’t come in properly and cause complications. Other times, it comes from teeth that haven’t come in at all. Here are some reasons why you might experience pain in the wisdom tooth area:

If a tooth develops a cavity, or decays, it can cause it to break down. Cavities don’t always cause toothaches, but when they do, that pain can become worse when chewing hard foods or when consuming hot or cold foods or drinks.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection that affects the tissue and bone that support your teeth. Other signs of gum disease include bleeding when you brush or floss, bad breath that doesn’t go away, and gums that are red, swollen, puffy or tender.

An abscessed tooth is a pocket of puss caused by bacteria that forms near the tooth. It needs immediate attention. If you put off care, you increase the chance that you will lose the affected tooth. You also could risk serious, even life-threatening infection. 

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can result in fractured teeth or teeth that become so severely worn they cannot be restored. This can cause sensitive teeth, jaw or toothache pain and frequent headaches. People often grind their teeth because of stress or misaligned teeth. This behavior happens most often at night, which is why wearing a night guard may help.

A fractured or cracked tooth may cause a toothache even if the damage isn’t visible to your eye. Treatment varies depending on the size and location of the crack but could include placing a crown on it, performing a root canal or, in extreme cases, extracting the tooth.

When there is not enough room for a tooth to push through the gums, it becomes impacted or stuck in your gums or jawbone. This happens most frequently with wisdom teeth, the third molars at the back of your jaw. An impacted tooth can sometimes lead to cavities or gum infection.

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When you should seek immediate toothache treatment

Call us right away if you are experiencing any type of toothache. If it’s caused by a damaged filling or loose crown, the tooth can become fractured and require a more extensive procedure, such as a root canal or even extraction. Waiting to contact us could lead to severe symptoms such as:

  • Unbearable tooth pain that lasts longer than a few days

  • A fever

  • An earache or pain when you open your mouth wide

  • Mouth or facial swelling

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Preventing toothaches

The best way to prevent a toothache is by practicing good oral habits:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day

  • Floss daily

  • Treat small issues with urgency

  • Avoid hard foods

  • Never use your teeth as tools

Toothache treatment options for you

Occasionally, you may be able to treat a toothache at home, like when the cause is a bit of food that you can easily dislodge by flossing. But if that doesn’t relieve the pain, contact your Aspen Dental care team to find the cause of your toothache so they can treat it right away.

Your team may suggest ways to manage the pain in the interim, including rinsing with salt water, applying an icepack to the side of the face with the toothache or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.

We’re here to help you find toothache relief

Any time you experience a toothache is a time to call your Aspen Dental care team so we can relieve your pain right away—and always in a comfortable, caring setting.