Tooth Pain? Here's What You Should Know
- If you have dental pain, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong with either your teeth or your gums, or both .
- Whatever the cause, you will need to see your dentist as soon as you can for treatment .
- Often dental pain comes on suddenly and the pain can range from being mild to severe . Some people experience a throbbing pain in their head, jaw (or even their ear) while others find their pain comes and goes .
Common dental pain symptoms include:1
- Pain that is worse when chewing or eating/drinking hot or cold foods
- Pain that is worse when lying down as this puts additional pressure on the tooth
- Swollen jaw that is sore or tender to touch
- Bleeding around the affected tooth or gum area.
Causes of Dental Pain
Dental pain develops when the pulp in the centre of the tooth becomes irritated and inflamed.1 As the pulp contains nerves, this triggers dental pain.1 There are many different reasons why this happens:1
- Tooth decay, caused by bacteria which attack the protective outer layer of tooth, the enamel. This causes holes, called cavities, in the tooth surface. Once a cavity appears the inner layer of the tooth, the pulp and its nerves, becomes exposed – leading to dental pain
- Cracked teeth
- Broken or loose fillings
- Receding gums, which can expose areas of the tooth that were previously protected, such as the root
- An infection.
- Sometimes it’s not tooth related at all – sinusitis can cause pain in the tooth, but there are usually other cold or flu symptoms alongside so that’s how to tell them apart.2
Only the dentist can treat the underlying cause of your dental pain.1 While you wait to see them, however, you can help manage your pain with an analgesic such paracetamol or ibuprofen.1 If you want fast relief from pain, try Nurofen Express.
You might find that avoiding hot or cold foods or drinks can also help.1
Helping Prevent Dental Pain
There’s only really one way to help prevent dental pain and that is to take care of your teeth and practice a good oral hygiene regime:1
- Brush twice daily with a fluoride-containing toothpaste – and don’t forget gums and tongue too as bacteria also find a home there
- Floss between the teeth
- Use a mouthwash
- Cut back on sugary drinks and food and have them only at mealtimes
- Quit smoking as smoking can worsen some dental conditions
- Visit your dentist regularly, at least once a year.
Nurofen Rapid Relief Maximum Strength 400mg Liquid Capsules contain ibuprofen. For mild to moderate pain and fever.
Nurofen Express Maximum Strength 400mg Tablets contain ibuprofen as sodium dihydrate. For mild to moderate pain and fever.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL.
This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.
Health Service Executive. Toothache. Accessed May 2021. https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/t/toothache/treating-toothache.html.
Health Service Executive. Sinusitis. Accessed May 2021. https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/s/sinusitis/.
Miranda-Ruis J, et al. Open Dent J, 2018;12:520–528.