There are few things in life as painful as a toothache–even the most stoic person can be brought to tears by this excruciating discomfort. Unfortunately, toothaches have a habit of manifesting at the most inopportune time, such as in the middle of the night or over the weekend when dental offices are closed.
If you find yourself in such a situation, there are a couple of self-care tips that can help alleviate the pain until you can visit trusted Lehigh Valley dentists.
Warm Saline Rinse
One of the most effective ways of dealing with a painful tooth is by rinsing your mouth with a warm saline rinse. The warm water helps soothe the ache while the salt helps disinfect the affected area. Add about a teaspoon of salt to warm water and gargle away.
Potential Toothache Causes
Teeth ache for a lot of different reasons. The main cause of many tooth aches is tooth decay, which occurs when the bacteria in your mouth feed on the remnants of food left behind on your teeth produce acid. Though your enamel is durable enough to fight that off in small doses, constant exposure will end up eating into the outer surface of your tooth. The toothaches start when the decay has managed to wear down the outer layer of your tooth; this exposes the sensitive nerves inside.
If tooth decay is left untreated, your tooth can become abscessed, a serious type of bacterial infection of the tooth. This infection eats away at the pulpy root of your tooth. When this happens, it can spread the problem to the bones supporting the tooth and irritate the tooth’s nerve. This can be extremely painful.