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An Overview of Toothaches

Toothache Treatment Follow-Up

After toothache treatment at your dentist's office, continue to practice good dental care. Routine and prompt follow-up appointments with the dentist should relieve your dental pain faster.

When you leave the emergency department, take the medications as prescribed and keep your follow-up appointment. If you have any concerning signs or symptoms, call your doctor.

Stopping smoking may help improve some dental conditions. If you are having trouble quitting, talk to your doctor about assistance.

Toothache Prevention

Most people can avoid toothaches and severe dental problems with regular dental care. Have your dentist's telephone number easily available in case of an emergency.

  • Maintain a healthy diet. Bacteria thrive on refined sugar and starch and need this in order to burrow through the enamel on your teeth. Watch what you eat and be careful about food that sticks to and between your teeth. Brush your teeth after eating.
  • Establish a good program of cleaning your teeth to remove the food particles. Brush your teeth after eating. Use a soft toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste as recommended by the American Dental Association. Floss between teeth daily and brush your gums to encourage healthy gums. Water jets are effective at removing trapped particles, but flossing your teeth does a more thorough job when done carefully.
  • Prevent tooth decay with fluoride. Fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay in children. Fluoride is a natural element and is found in many water supplies and vegetables. Check and see if your tap water is fluoridated. If your water is not fluoridated, your dentist can prescribe fluoride tablets or fluoride supplements for children younger than 10 years.
  • Arrange to have your teeth cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist at least twice a year. This has been shown to be effective in preventing both decay and gum disease. Dental X-rays may be needed every three to five years to identify problem areas.
  • Keep your bridge or dentures clean. Your dentist can offer suggestions. Even if you do not have all of your original adult teeth, you can prevent new dental problems if you try these preventive tips.
  • Wear a protective dental guard or headgear while playing sports to help prevent injury.
  • Do not smoke. Tobacco smoking may make some dental conditions worse.

 

Outlook for Toothaches

For most common causes of toothache, the prognosis is good with appropriate dental care. Following good dental hygiene, such as brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and routine check-ups by the dentist, helps to prevent dental problems.

For conditions other than dental and jaw problems, prompt diagnosis and treatment usually improve long-term outcome.

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WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Michael Friedman, DDS on July 24, 2014

How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Answer:
Never
(0)
Good
(1-3)
Better
(4-6)
Best
(7)

You are currently

Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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