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It’s tough to know whether a toothache is a minor inconvenience or a dental emergency. At Missoula Dental in Missoula, Montana, our experienced team of dentists can get to the bottom of your toothache and determine the appropriate treatment to relieve your pain. We offer same-day emergency appointments for people with sudden, painful toothaches. To learn more, call Missoula Dental or schedule an appointment online now.

What are toothaches?

A toothache occurs when you experience mild to severe pain in a specific tooth. Toothaches that worsen or don’t resolve on their own often indicate an underlying dental concern, such as severe decay or trauma. While many toothaches are harmless, ignoring the warning signs can put you at risk of sudden tooth loss or extreme pain.

The sooner you seek treatment for a toothache, the better your chances are of recovering without complications.

What are the symptoms of toothaches?

Not all toothache pain is the same. The pain varies in intensity and can be either constant or intermittent. Your toothache may develop suddenly or gradually. It often depends on the cause behind the pain. Common symptoms of toothaches include:

  • Dull ache

  • Sharp pain

  • Pain when chewing

  • Facial swelling

  • Swelling around the jaw

  • Bad breath

  • Fever

  • Headache

Another serious toothache symptom is a rush of foul-tasting liquid in the mouth. That is a telltale sign of a ruptured abscess — a pus-filled sac that forms at the base of tooth root. A ruptured abscess can spread potentially harmful bacteria in your mouth that can seep into your bloodstream. If you suspect you have a ruptured abscess, talk to your dentist right away.

What causes toothaches?

Many dental problems can result in painful toothaches, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis before treatment. Common causes of toothaches include:

  • Severe tooth decay

  • Advanced gum disease

  • Damaged restoration (filling, crown, bridge, etc.)

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)

  • Trauma

  • Dental abscess

You may also experience a toothache during tooth eruptions. That is a common cause of tooth pain in children with newly erupting permanent teeth. It’s also common in adults with erupting wisdom teeth.

What are the treatments for toothaches?

How your dentist at Missoula Dental treats your toothache depends on the cause. If you have an infection, they may prescribe antibiotics to prevent complications. Other common treatments for tooth pain include:

If you have a toothache, call the experts at Missoula Dental or schedule an appointment online now.

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