How to Deal With Toothaches & Dental Pain in Knoxville, TN

Outsmarting Tooth Pain Until You Can See Our Knoxville Dentist 

At Fountain City Smiles, we understand toothaches and dental pain can be excruciating and keep you from your normal activities. Knowing how to respond can help minimize discomfort until you can be seen by our Knoxville, TN, dentist, Dr. Niral Patel. Read on to learn how to deal with toothaches and why it’s important to be seen by Dr. Patel.

Common Causes of Toothaches

Toothaches can arise for a variety of reasons. Being aware of the most frequent sources of tooth pain allows you to share helpful information with your dentist when seeking emergency dental treatment. Here are some of the main causes of toothaches:

  • Tooth Decay: Cavities from plaque buildup can damage outer enamel and irritate inner tooth nerves, resulting in pain. The pain may worsen with cold, heat, or chewing.
  • Cracked Teeth: Fractures in the teeth from injury or grinding puts pressure on the inner pulp and nerves. Pain tends to be sharp and triggered by biting.
  • Dental Abscess: Bacterial infections in the pulp or gum tissues can cause severe throbbing pain, swelling, and sensitivity. Abscesses require urgent care.
  • Damaged Fillings: Leaking, fractured, or loose dental fillings allow bacteria to seep in and irritate the tooth pulp, causing pain.
  • Gum Disease: Advanced periodontal disease can cause receding gums, exposing tooth roots and leading to sensitivity and pain.
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Partially erupted wisdom teeth put pressure on adjacent teeth, resulting in infection and pain.
  • Bruxism: Forceful teeth grinding wears down enamel and stresses teeth, leading to face, jaw, and tooth pain.

Assess the Pain

Take note of when the tooth pain started and what may have triggered it. 

  • Try to pinpoint the exact location of the pain — Is it localized to one tooth, or does it affect multiple teeth or your entire jaw? 
  • Classify the type of pain in detail — Is it a sharp, stabbing pain that comes and goes or a constant, throbbing ache? 
  • Determine if the pain is triggered by hot, cold, sweet foods, or pressure. 

Think about potential sources like a cavity, cracked or damaged tooth, gum disease, or dental infection. Being able to provide Dr. Patel with detailed information will aid in diagnosis.

Manage Pain and Discomfort

While you wait for your appointment with your Knoxville dentist, here are some steps and home remedies you can take to alleviate the pain and discomfort:

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times a day, which can help flush out food particles and reduce inflammation of the affected area. 
  2. Take over-the-counter pain medicines like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium according to package instructions to alleviate pain. 
  3. Topical numbing gels or dental pain relief products can provide temporary relief on the surface. 
  4. Avoid very hot or cold foods and drinks that could exacerbate swelling and pain. 
  5. Apply an ice pack on the outside of your cheek to numb the area temporarily. 
  6. Get plenty of rest to help your body heal.

Schedule an Emergency Dental Appointment at Our Knoxville Dental Office

Contact Fountain City Smiles as soon as possible and explain your symptoms thoroughly. Request the first available emergency appointment time slot, even if it means taking time off work or other obligations. We also offer extended hours, and emergency walk-ins are always welcome.

The dental staff may be able to provide you with pain management tips until you can be seen. Be prepared to come in right away if the pain is severe, persistent, or worsening, as this could indicate an urgent dental issue needing immediate treatment.

Seek Prompt Treatment

Dr. Patel will thoroughly examine your mouth, take digital X-rays if necessary, and diagnose the underlying problem causing pain. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment may involve fillings, root canals, extractions, antibiotics, or other solutions to resolve the source of pain and prevent the spread of infection. 

After your treatment, Dr. Patel will provide you with post-procedure instructions, including taking any prescribed medications and sticking to recommended dental hygiene and care guidelines.

Prevent Recurrences

To ensure the toothaches or dental pain doesn’t return, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Improve your daily oral hygiene habits by brushing and flossing properly twice a day. 
  2. Attend your regular dental cleanings and checkups with Dr. Patel to catch issues early before they balloon into dental emergencies. 
  3. Get recommended fillings, crowns, or other dental work done on any damaged teeth to ward off pain and infection. 
  4. Contact Fountain City Smiles right away at the first sign of dental sensitivity or irritation before it turns into unbearable toothaches.

Consequences of Delayed Treatment

While it’s important to take steps to manage dental pain at home, it’s critical to seek professional treatment from Dr. Patel as soon as possible. Delaying treatment could lead to a variety of issues:

  • Worsening infection: Bacteria can spread from the tooth to the gum, jaw, and other areas, resulting in swelling, fever, and facial abscesses requiring emergency surgery.
  • Tooth Loss: Untreated dental infections may kill the tooth nerve, requiring extraction. This can affect your bite and ability to chew.
  • Spread to Other Teeth: Cavities and infection can compromise nearby healthy teeth if not addressed promptly.
  • Systemic Effects: Dental abscesses have been linked to joint inflammation, heart disease, and diabetes complications if the infection reaches the bloodstream.

Don’t wait to see if the pain goes away on its own. Severe, persistent toothaches always warrant professional dental expertise. Visit Dr. Patel at Fountain City Smiles immediately for assessment and rapid resolution of your oral health issue before it escalates. Catching problems early can help save your smile.

Frequently Asked Questions