5 steps to preventing toothache

5 steps to preventing toothache (and other dental woes)

Toothache can be sharp, throbbing, or constant – but in almost all cases, it’s painful!

Whilst the exterior of your teeth might seem hard and strong, the underlying dentine is more porous, and the inside, called the ‘pulp’ is filled with nerves, tissue, and blood vessels. It’s one of the most sensitive areas in the human body, and when the nerves inside the tooth are irritated or become infected, you’ll certainly know about it!

Unfortunately by the time our teeth ‘feel pain’ however, it can be too late to prevent the problem. Pain can often be related to decay in a tooth, and can also be an indication that more involved dental treatment will be required. This might be in the form of a dental restoration – fillings or even root canal surgery. For anyone experiencing dental pain, it’s best not to delay – an earlier visit to the dentist may limit the degree of treatment required.

Better still, knowing the warning signs in combination with regular visits to the dentist can help prevent dental pain from the outset – literally!

Toothache St John Dental


Early warning signs your dental health may be on the decline:

  • Bleeding, sore, swollen or inflamed gums
  • Sharp, lingering pain
  • Sensitivity to hot and/or cold food or beverage
  • A constant, dull ache
  • Pain on biting
  • Dry mouth
  • Ongoing bad breath
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Dark spots on the tooth, particularly near the gums
  • Gum or tooth sensitivity

Prevention is the best medicine. If you notice any of these signs book in to see your dentist who can help you with management and potentially mitigate the risk of more invasive dental work.

It’s important to note, toothache can also be accompanied by other symptoms including swelling around the tooth, fever or headache, bleeding gums or even a foul-tasting discharge from the tooth. These can be signs of something serious and should be addressed with a dentist immediately. 

Treating toothache with restorative dental

Dental restorations may be used to address a dental issue before it develops more extensively, or to treat the cause of a toothache. Some restorative treatments such as fillings can be relatively straightforward. Others can be much more involved – such as root canal therapy and crowns. All have the same purpose, however, which is to restore the function, integrity, and form of a tooth – which can have a significant impact on a person’s confidence and quality of life!

In many cases, the requirement for dental restorations (and the leading cause of toothache) is tooth decay. The good news is, this can be prevented by maintaining continuous good oral hygiene practices.

Oral hygiene tips to help prevent toothache

  1. Brush your teeth. Spend two minutes twice a day brushing with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. The correct brushing technique involves brushing every surface of every tooth: small circular motions on the vertical surfaces of teeth, angled at the gums, and a back-and-forth motion on chewing surfaces. Don’t forget your tongue! This ensures maximum removal of plaque and any additional bacteria.
  2. Floss regularly. Once a day before you brush your teeth is recommended. This helps remove any food particles that could be stuck between teeth and can’t be reached by brushing alone.
  3. Use a non-alcohol mouthwash in conjunction with brushing and flossing. This helps to reduce bacteria in your mouth and the amount of dental plaque that forms. Some mouthwashes also contain fluoride which helps strengthen teeth and reduces the likeliness of cavities.
  4. Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet. Limiting your sugar intake goes a long way in maintaining healthy teeth. Bacteria in plaque convert sugar to acid, which attacks tooth enamel causing tooth decay. Furthermore, a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals helps deliver nutrients essential for keeping teeth healthy and strong. Drinking water throughout the day helps keep your mouth clean, aiding the prevention of plaque build-up.
  5. Keep dental visits regular. A routine check at the dentist every 6-12 months ensures potential issues can be spotted early – so preventative action can be taken before major problems develop. A regular dental visit also allows for a routine ‘scale and clean’ which removes calculus (tartar) from your teeth (and makes your teeth feel ever-so-clean afterward!)

St John Dental has family dental clinics in Armadale, Cannington, Cockburn, Joondalup and Midland for all of your general, orthodontic, children’s and emergency dental needs. You can find more information or book an appointment online here.

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