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How to Stop a Toothache?

The best way to stop a toothache is to visit a dentist as soon as possible. Although there are several home remedies for tooth pain relief, it is advisable that you do not delay your visit to the dentist. In most cases the toothache will return stronger, and the underlying problem that caused the tooth pain will only get worse.

A number of dental problems (and even some non dental conditions) may cause toothache symptoms, therefore before any treatment is followed to stop the toothache, the root cause must first be diagnosed by the dentist.

Read more in Toothache symptoms and diagnosis.

Treatments to stop a toothache

Some incidents of tooth pain can be treated with an over the counter painkiller, better oral hygiene or using a special toothpaste, but in most cases treatment will require a dental procedure such as dental filling, root canal, dental crown or a tooth extraction.

Until some generations ago, the common method to stop a toothache was to extract the tooth, but fortunately dentistry has evolved and several treatments can now help in relieving toothache while preserving the tooth.

The solutions to stop a toothache discussed in this article refer to the permanent treatment of the tooth pain by treating the actual condition that caused it, usually with the help of a general dentist or a dental specialist. If you are looking for ways to temporary relieve the pain until you visit the dentist, read the relevant article about toothache pain relief.

Treatments for tooth pain by cause of toothache

Depending on the diagnosis the dentist has made about the causes of toothache, a number of treatments can be used to cure the problem and stop the tooth pain. The following list provides a summary of the possible treatments depending on the cause of the tooth pain.

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  • Tooth Decay / small cavities – Stopping a toothache caused by mild tooth decay is relatively simple. After the decayed tissue is removed, a dental filling is usually enough to treat a small and shallow dental cavity.
  • Pulpitis – If tooth decay has advanced deeply in the tooth and irritates the pulp, it is possible that a root canal therapy is required before the tooth is filled to stop the toothache. If the pulp is already infected, the dentist will have to remove the infected tissue and perform a root canal treatment.
  • Tooth abscess – When a dental abscess is formed, drainage can offer temporary pain relief. Root canal treatment is necessary before the tooth is restored with a filling or crown.
  • Sensitive Teeth – Brushing with special anti-sensitivity toothpaste can help stop toothaches that occur after a cold or hot stimuli due to exposed dentine. In severe cases fluoride varnishes, tooth bonding or porcelain veneers can help.
  • Gum Recession – Gum grafting is a procedure that is used to cover exposed tooth roots and stop sensitivity tooth pain caused by receding gums. Gum disease treatment and good oral hygiene are necessary to prevent further gum recession in the future.
  • Periodontal Disease – Tooth scaling and root planing followed by careful oral hygiene are recommended for relieving tooth pain caused by gum inflammation. More invasive surgical gum disease treatments may be needed if deep pockets or a periodontal abscess is formed.
  • Tooth Fractures – The treatment of a toothache due to a cracked tooth depends on how deep the crack is. Possible treatments include bonding, veneers, fillings but usually a crown is recommended after root canal therapy to splint the tooth. If the crack is too severe the tooth will have to be extracted.
  • Wisdom teeth – Toothaches related to wisdom teeth problems are in most cases relieved with wisdom tooth extraction.
  • Bruxism – Wearing a mouth-guard when sleeping can help to stop a toothache caused by teeth clenching. If teeth grinding has caused damage to the enamel, tooth bonding, veneers or a crown may be needed to treat the problem.
  • TMJ disorders (TMD) – Applying heat or cold can relieve jaw pains caused by temporomandibular joint disorders. TMJD treatments such as jaw exercises and relaxation techniques can help stop tmj tooth pain.
  • Damaged restorations – If an old filling or crown is broken or damaged, the tooth tissue under the restoration is exposed causing severe toothache. The restoration should be replaced, or if the tooth is beyond repair it should be extracted.
  • After dental treatments – Temporary tooth pain after several dental treatments such as after a filling, crown, root canal or of course an extraction is normal and over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve or stop the tooth pain. If the pain is extreme or persists for several days it may indicate that there is a complication and the dentist must be advised.
  • Trapped food – Using dental floss or water pick can help remove any food debris stuck between teeth and gums and stop the irritation. Do not use sharp objects; if you can not remove the food residuals, visit your dentist.
  • Implants problem – A dental implant related pain is often caused in case of peri-implantitis. Treating the infection will stop the toothache. In the rare case, that the pain is caused by an alveolar nerve injury during implant placement, the damage may cause chronic pain that id difficult to cure.
  • Teeth eruption - Teething rings are widely used to soothe a baby's teething pain. Teething tablets and gels are also available and can be used to relief teething symptoms.
  • Non dental related toothaches – Stopping a toothache caused by non dental condition such as a sinus infection (sinusitis) or ear infection requires the treatment of the causative condition.

Even when dental problems cause severe tooth pain your dentist can provide the necessary treatment, and the consequences to your dental health can be minimal but only if you seek help right away. If you suffer from tooth pain and you can not reach your dentist, you can find advice for toothache pain relief in the next article.

Some toothaches are a signal of serious health conditions. A tooth pain in the left side of the jaw has been found to be a symptom of heart diseases and in some cases a sign of a heart attack. Visiting your dentist as soon as possible can prevent serious complications and reduce the discomfort and cost of the required treatments.

Never ignore a toothache

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