According to the World Health Organization:
- worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities
- dental cavities can be prevented by maintaining a constant low level of fluoride in the oral cavity
- globally, about 30% of people aged 65–74 have no natural teeth.
- oral disease in children and adults is higher among poor and disadvantaged population groups
- risk factors for oral diseases include an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful alcohol use and poor oral hygiene, and social determinants
Toothaches are the result of tooth decay that happens as a result of bacteria living in your mouth. Bacteria happens when sugars and starches are consumed and, if not removed, stick to the surface or your teeth. Eventually the bacteria eats through the enamel and a cavity is the result.
Other causes of tooth decay, or cavities, that result in a toothache are:
- food build up between your teeth
- gum inflammation
- root inflammation
- trauma to the tooth
- teeth that are pushing through the gum and don’t have enough room to emerge
Early signs of a cavity include:
- tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
- tooth sensitivity to sweet foods
- tooth discoloration
When it comes to a minor toothache, there are a few things that can be done to correct the problem and relieve the pain:
- rinsing your mouth with warm water
- removing food particles through flossing
- taking a pain reliever
Sometimes an over-the-counter antiseptic is used that contains benzocaine. In rare cases, this antiseptic has been known to cause methemoglobinemia, a rare but serious condition that decreases the amount of oxygen the blood carries, so always talk to your dentist before using this type of antiseptic and never use this product on children younger than two-years-old.
In the case of a painful, persistent toothache, call if any of the following exist:
- pain that persists for more than a day or two
- signs of infection, such as swelling, red or a foul-tasting discharge
- trouble breathing or swallowing
While toothaches are common, they can be life-threatening if left untreated. Anything other than simple pain that is relieved quickly, should be brought to a dentist’s attention.
At Midtown Dentistry, we are known for addressing toothaches quickly. We know the pain associated with this type of dental distress, which is why our number one suggestion for preventing toothaches is to have regular checkups to make sure all cavities are identified and treated before a toothache can begin.
Call Midtown Dentistry today at 713-491-6279 and let us help make sure your teeth are free from the cavities that lead to the cost, time, pain and inconvenience of a toothache creates.