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Toothache or Tooth Pain

What does throbbing tooth pain mean?

Throbbing pain means you likely have an infected tooth. Throbbing is caused by blood pressure rising around a tooth as your body fights infection. A toothache is worse at night because laying down increases head blood pressure. When you’re upright the force of gravity works to lower head pressure. Waking up at night from a toothache is a classic sign of an infected tooth.

How long does a toothache last?

Toothaches can last for hours or days, and only stop when the pressure is relieved. The inflammation (puss) around the tooth must find some escape. Sometimes it drains through bone and gums into your mouth. You may get a bitter taste. Other times the infection moves outward towards your face and your face swells.

Facial swelling is serious. Head infections can spread to your blood stream and brain. You should seek immediate emergency dentistry if you have swelling. Our office has emergency dentistry appointments available every day. Call 925-838-2900.

A dull ache can be a gum infection. Signs include redness, swelling and bleeding around teeth. Gum infections are frequently caused by food stuck between teeth or under the gumline. Oral irrigation flushes out food and objects the best. Flossing and oral irrigation together can be very effective. Rinsing out with warm saltwater soothes gums and helps them heal. If pain persists, you may need a periodontal debridement or antibiotics, so call 925-838-2900 for emergency dentistry.

How do you stop a toothache at home?

Until you reach us, you can relieve a toothache by taking pain medication. The best pain killers for a toothache are Acetaminophen (ex. Extra Strength Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (ex. Motrin, Advil). Call us for best way to take them for maximum pain relief.  Do not take any you have known adverse reaction to. Tooth infections are hot, so a cold compress can ease the pain. Wrap a plastic baggie full of ice in a towel and gently rest over the area of pain. Finally, relax by laying down and elevate your head with two pillows to lower blood pressure around the tooth.

How can I numb the tooth pain?

You can’t numb tooth pain at home with topical ointments, like Anebsol and Orajel, they do not penetrate enamel.  Minor gum infections may be relieved temporarily from topical ointments.

Remember, at the first sign of dental discomfort call 925-838-2900 and we’ll have you in right away, out of pain, and smiling again!


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Michael Kriston, DDS

903 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Suite 120 Danville, CA 94526

Phone: (925) 838-2900 | Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM