A toothache is never a pleasant experience, especially when you're not sure what the cause is. If you experience painful teeth for more than two days, or pain that's especially severe, you may want to contact your dentist. There are multiple approaches they can take to toothache relief and the one they choose will depend on the root cause.
Analgesia until you can see a dentist
Unfortunately, analgesia alone won't cure the cause of your toothache, but it can help you bridge the gap between now and seeing a dentist. Try taking some paracetamol or ibuprofen, both of which can block pain signals and reduce inflammation. You may also want to take note of what does and doesn't trigger the pain. If you're sensitive to hot and cold drinks during this time, make sure they stay off the menu.
Tackling tooth decay
At the very early stages of tooth decay, you may benefit from using a fluoride gel in the area and adhering to the dietary advice your dentist gives to you. However, should the decay spread deeper into your tooth, you may require a root canal or a filling, both of which take place under general anaesthetic.
Wisdom tooth pain
As the last teeth to push through your gums, wisdom teeth sometimes come up against other teeth. When this happens, they're 'impacted' and can cause severe pain that may indicate the need to remove them.
If your wisdom tooth isn't severe, you may find your dentist advises against wisdom tooth removal. In such instances, over-the-counter pain relief or an appropriate prescription can help reduce the unpleasant sensations, allowing your teeth to grow through with minimal fuss.
Addressing broken teeth
Not all broken teeth result in pain. If you chip a tooth and it isn't too painful, try storing fragments in milk until you can see a dentist, as they could reattach them. In some cases, you may find that you chip or crack the tooth so badly that you expose the root. The root of your tooth is capable of sending pain signals to the brain, so when it senses exposure, it sends these signals to highlight that something's wrong. Depending on the tooth's condition, your dentist will either opt for broken tooth repair or a root canal.
If you experience tooth pain that comes with swelling, a fever, or an area of the jaw that's hot to touch, contact a dental professional sooner rather than later. Through a combination of analgesia and carefully chosen techniques, you can return to normal as soon as possible.