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Toothache

A toothache is a pain in or around a tooth. Minor toothaches can come from a temporary gum irritation which may be treated at home. More serious toothaches are caused by dental and mouth problems that are more difficult and will need to be treated by a dentist.

Possible causes of toothache can include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Abscessed tooth
  • A cracked or damaged tooth
  • A loose or broken filling
  • An infection – this often happens when a tooth (such as a wisdom tooth) has broken the skin, but does not have enough room to fully come through
  • Problems with your braces
  • Repetitive motions, such as chewing gum or grinding teeth
  • Infected gums

Symptoms of a toothache may include:

  • Tooth pain that may be sharp, throbbing, or constant. In some people, pain results only when pressure is applied to the tooth.
  • Swelling around the tooth
  • Fever or headache
  • Foul-tasting drainage from the infected tooth

When should I see a dentist about a toothache?

See your dentist as soon as possible about your toothache if:

  • You have a toothache that lasts longer than 1 or 2 days
  • Your toothache is severe
  • You have a fever, earache, or pain upon opening your mouth wide

As with any teeth problems, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms it's important to book an appointment at Sturminster Dental Care to see a dentist as soon as possible, rather than waiting for routine dental health review.

How will the dentist treat my toothache?

Your Sturminster Dental Care dentist will need to examine you, and possibly take x-rays, in order to identify the cause of your toothache. Once this has been identified, they will conduct any temporary treatment to relieve your pain and advise if further treatment is required to address the underlying issue.

Possible treatments may include:

  • If a cavity is causing the toothache, your dentist will fill the cavity or take the tooth out, if necessary.
  • A root canal (a procedure to remove and replace infected pulp with sealing material) may be needed if the cause of the toothache is an infection of the tooth's nerve. Bacteria that have worked their way into the inner space of the root of the tooth cause infection.
  • An antibiotic may be prescribed if there is fever or swelling of the jaw.
  • A small piece of food (like a popcorn hull) can get stuck under the gums causing an infection. In this instance, a deep cleaning may be performed or recommended followed by further periodontal (gum) therapy if necessary.

Preventing toothache

Since most toothaches are the result of tooth decay, following good oral hygiene practices can prevent toothaches. Good oral hygiene practices consist of brushing regularly with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, flossing once daily, rinsing once or twice a day with an antiseptic mouthwash, and seeing your Sturminster Dental Care dentist regularly for professional cleaning and reviews. In addition to these practices, eat foods low in sugar and ask your dentist about sealants and fluoride applications.

How do I treat a toothache at home?

For temporary relief of a toothache, the following can be followed at home:

  • Avoid extremes of temperature, such as hot drinks or very cold foods like ice cream
  • Avoid sugary or acidic foods, especially sweets or fizzy drinks, even diet ones, as these can aggravate the pain
  • Eat soft foods, like yoghurt or scrambled eggs, and try to avoid chewing with the sore tooth
  • Take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol
  • Use an over-the-counter anaesthetic gel, for example Orajel, which you can buy in a pharmacy, to help relieve the pain
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth as thoroughly as possible, and rub toothpaste directly onto the sore tooth or area
  • Rinse with warm saltwater. Salt water can loosen debris between your teeth, act as a disinfectant and reduce inflammation. Stir a ½ teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth thoroughly.
  • Use mouthwash suitable for gum problems, such as Corsodyl or Peroxyl, from your local pharmacy
  • Massage the gum around the tooth to help ease pain
  • Use cloves or cotton wool to place clove oil over the painful tooth or area of the mouth. You can buy cloves in supermarkets
  • Keep your head elevated at night. Lying down can increase blood pressure in the tooth and cause pain
  • Keep the area cold by using a cool pack or frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel. Apply this to your cheek. Don’t apply ice directly to the tooth as this can increase pain and damage the tissue

If you have any toothache or discomfort, contact Sturminster Dental Care in Sturminster Newton as soon as possible. Give us a call on 01258 473397.

Meet the team

Brian Thomason

Principal Dentist

GDC NO. 57874

Ian Mercer

Dentist

GDC NO. 66381

Olga Sevcsenko

Dentist

GDC NO. 250396

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Patient Reviews

People are talking about us

The biggest complement we receive is when our patients refer their friends and family to Sturminster Dental Care. In fact, we have built much of our practice on these valued, trusted recommendations over the years. Read our reviews to hear why our patients are recommending us…

Patient reviews

30 Reviews

5.0
MO

Martin Ostler

My wife and I made our first visit as new patients. First impressions were very favourable on both the dental and admin side

JG

J Ginty

Absolutely amazing dentist. Every single member of staff is wonderful, sweet and kind. Highly recommend. 10/10!

TE

Tracey Eavis

I have been going to Sturminster Dental Care for years , it’s amazing. Always get a warm welcome and Ian & Helen are Brilliant looking after my teeth . Wouldn’t go anywhere else and recommend them highly

DS

Dave Stringer

Absolutely first class dental care from an extremely courteous and professional team. A trip to the dentist isn’t exactly everyone’s ideal place to visit, but all the staff here will make you feel totally at ease, and for me, have completely taken the fear factor away from the occasion. I’ve visited a few dental surgeries over the years, and this is the best by quite some distance. Top class service from a top class team. Thank you!

T

Tim

I have not relaxed in a dental chair for years . I was always apprehensive and anxious. Brian has a great bed side manner and for the first time in years I relaxed . It was almost pleasant ! Thank you for ‘putting me back together again’ Tim

JT

John T

I don't usually do reviews but in this instance I have only but compliments for this Dental Practice. From the Receptionist to the actual Dental Teams everybody is so pleasent and reassuring. I appreciate attending a Dentist can be stressful for some but this Practice makes the visit as comfortable as possible.

JC

Julie Christopher

I visited Olga today and was so impressed with her and all of the team. I would highly recommend this dentist practice. It's all about what is best for you. Very friendly, understanding and I feel confident they really care about their patients.

MG

Mike Gaston

Always on time with appointments, friendly and welcoming staff. A pleasure to be one of your clients ✨️.

PS

Paul Stevens

Great dentist sorted out my problem straight away would recommend to anyone

ZB

Zoe Bell

Very patient and very trustworthy. Always friendly and calming for both scared adults and children.

B

Bendz

Very friendly and efficient staff, an excellent dental practice.

JL

Jeanette Lane

My tooth broke yesterday due to a cancellation I was able to be treated today friendly professional quick service couldn’t have asked for more

LA

louis Austin

The staff and dentists are brilliant and so caring

RG

Richard Gow

Sturminster Dental Care offer a high standard of dentistry and you feel that you're in safe hands. This is backed up by a professional and very friendly team who provide a warm welcome at each point of contact. The facilities are well designed and comfortable and there is free parking outside.

DH

David Hill

Friendly and professional

JB

Jill Bristow

Excellent practice, would recommend to all, as a nervous patient, they put me at ease, and I do not dread going to have treatment.

SB

sharon bennett

Great practice. You feel valued as an individual patient. Very professional, friendly and punctual.

TM

Tony Moore

Excellent, professional and friendly Dental Practice. Thank you.

BL

Bridget Legg

Efficient, calm and polite service which makes going to the dentist not such an ordeal! All lovely and helpful staff.

H

Hogswatter

Very professional team and staff.

IS

Ian Sandey

Absolutely superb practice in every way! Thoroughly recommend

JA

Julie Anderson

Ian and staff are brilliant ..Recommend it for all.

CH

Cheryl Handibode

Excellent visit as always, Ian is always so pleasant and reassuring.

IR

Ian Ring

Excellent dentists. Clean, friendly and Covid safe

KM

Kay Moscrop

Very good care from Olga

SH

Suzy Hilton

I don't think I have ever had such a comfortable and friendly dental experience. Ian took the time to explain all my options and treatments and made me feel fairly optimistic about the outcome. The reception staff were very welcoming and helpful

CW

Charlotte Weatherley

It was great to be fitted in so quickly, as I had indicated that I was in pain, and the receptionist worked hard to find a slot for me. Overall, an efficient service, with friendly, accommodating staff. The dentist worked quickly to identify the problem and begin treatment.

SJ

Stuart Jackson

Always time to talk 'teeth' and never feeling rushed

NM

Nick Messinger

Excellent service - friendly team

SB

Stuart Brown

Perfect.

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