Toothaches 101: Understanding the Causes and Seeking Immediate Relief with Gentry Dentistry

At Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee, we always love seeing our patients twice a year for their bi-annual cleaning and checkup. Occasionally, our patients visit us between wellness checks for maintenance issues like a loose filling or crown, cosmetic reasons like tooth whitening or Botox treatments, or an unexpected dental emergency. Beyond trauma to the mouth, one of the most common reasons for an emergency visit to the dentist is a toothache that can’t be ignored. When you’re in pain, a toothache can seem all-consuming – making it difficult to focus on anything else. In this blog, we’ll address the common factors that lead to a toothache, ways to prevent them, measures you can take at home to bring you a little relief, and when it’s time to seek professional help from the experienced dentists at Gentry Dentistry.

The Culprits Behind Toothaches

Several factors can cause a toothache. Wisdom teeth that have become impacted, a fracture at the root of the tooth, or an abscess that forms a pocket of pus around the base of the tooth can all be particularly painful causes for a toothache. Issues like grinding one’s teeth at night or enamel degradation from excessive brushing or overexposure to corrosive carbonated beverages can also lead to a dull, irritating ache. The number one factor behind toothaches we regularly witness at Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee is tooth decay, aka a cavity.  

Preventing Toothaches: Tips for Good Oral Hygiene

Concerns like wisdom teeth, enamel degradation, grinding teeth, and tooth decay can typically be identified during annual X-rays. However, consuming too many sugary foods and drinks between wellness checks can accelerate the growth of cavities – potentially causing the need for a dental emergency visit. The best ways to prevent a toothache are to visit the dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup, get your annual X-rays, and follow the advice of your dentist based upon what they find during your checkup and on your films. If we advise getting your wisdom teeth removed, you could avoid a lot of pain, expense, and recovery time by having them extracted before they become impacted. We can also have you fitted for a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding at night and advise against too many carbonated beverages if we witness early signs of enamel loss or a cavity. Of course, the best first line of defense is to practice good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice daily and flossing at least once daily.

Immediate Relief Measures at Home

If you are plagued by a toothache, there are several measures you can take to ease the pain until you have a chance to make an appointment with Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee. If you have incurred some form of trauma at the root of your toothache, a cold compress will bring relief and help keep the swelling down. Saltwater or diluted hydrogen peroxide rinse can help dislodge food near the affected tooth and keep an infection at bay. You can also look to over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to minimize discomfort and provide toothache relief.  

When to Seek Professional Help

If you are in pain, we recommend calling Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee right away so we can get you into our chair, identify the cause, and determine the best course of action as soon as possible. However, if you decide to stick it out in hopes that the pain will pass, it’s essential to be on the lookout for critical signs indicating a more significant issue behind your pain. Cautionary signs that indicate the need to seek professional help right away include:

  • Pain that lingers for more than 24-48 hours, particularly if it seems to be getting worse
  • Symptoms of a potential infection, such as a fever, swelling, redness in the gums around the affected tooth, or foul discharge
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing

Gentry Dentistry: Your Partner in Dental Emergencies

Although we keep a calendar packed with wellness checkups, cosmetic procedures, and restorative services, we always leave a little wiggle room in our day to help our patients with their dental emergencies. Regardless of your toothache causes, the dentists at Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee remain committed to identifying the issue and getting you the relief you seek. It could be something as simple as a ceramic filling to a more permanent solution like an extraction. The first step towards toothache relief is a call to the front desk at Gentry Dentistry to set an appointment. Our friendly staff members stand at the ready to serve you at 770-945-5850. Our office is located at 3585 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd, Suite #101-A in Suwanee, and our hours are Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and select Fridays, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Leave your worries at the door and enjoy a healthier smile


Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.