What Happens When I Go to the Dentist for a Toothache?
To treat your toothache, your dentist will first obtain your medical history and conduct a physical exam. He or she will ask you questions about the pain, such as when the pain started, how severe it is, where the pain is located, what makes the pain worse, and what makes it better. Your dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, gums, jaws, tongue, throat, sinuses, ears, nose, and neck. X-rays may be taken as well as other tests, depending on what your dentist suspects is causing your toothache.
What Treatments Are Available for a Toothache?
Treatment for a toothache depends on the cause. If a cavity is causing the toothache, depending upon the extent of the cavity, your dentist will fill the cavity. A root canal might be needed if the tooth decay has caused an infection of the tooth’s nerve. If the decay is too extensive, the tooth may require extraction. An antibiotic may be prescribed if there is fever or swelling of the jaw.
How Can Toothaches Be Prevented?
Since most toothaches are the result of tooth decay, following good oral hygiene practices is the best way to prevent toothaches. Good oral hygiene practices consist of brushing regularly with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, flossing at least once daily, rinsing once or twice a day with an antiseptic mouthwash, and seeing your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning. In addition to these practices, eat foods low in sugar and ask your dentist about sealants and fluoride applications.
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