Search This Blog

Friday, August 12, 2011

Toothache FAQs

It's true — toothaches come and go, sometimes seemingly without any rhyme or reason. But don't let the transient nature of a toothache pain fool you. It’s usually a clear sign that something's seriously wrong with your teeth.
A toothache can be caused by sensitivity to hot or cold or a more serious problem like a dental cavity, gum disease or a cracked tooth. One thing's for sure: If you've had a bad toothache for more than a couple of days, you should see your dentist!
Q: Isn't it normal to have a toothache now and then?
A: Most people occasionally have mild toothaches, particularly when consuming hot or cold drinks or food. This is the type of toothache pain that may not necessarily be a cause for worry. But a bad toothache — the kind that wakes you up in the middle of the night, throbs all day, or lasts for more than a couple of days — could mean that a more serious problem exists. The worst thing to do is sit around wishing a toothache away. The best thing to do is visit the dentist for help.
Q: I had a toothache, but it went away. Should I still see a dentist?
A: It's never a good idea to gamble with your dental health. So even if you think a toothache was mild, only a dentist can make a proper diagnosis. Pick up the phone and call your dentist - it only takes a few minutes.
He or she will likely ask you a series of questions: Was the toothache pain gnawing or throbbing? Did the tooth ache last a whole day or just for a moment? Can you see holes in the tooth that's causing pain? Do you have swollen gums or neck glands? Depending on the answers, your dentist may ask you to come in for an exam.
Q: Is it OK to take over-the-counter pain relievers for a toothache?
A: Unless you have been advised by a physician to avoid OTC pain relievers, most dentists recommend taking pain medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen as instructed. But if an OTC pain reliever doesn't help alleviate toothache pain, that's a good sign you need to actually see a dentist.

No comments:

Post a Comment