Signs and Symptoms
General soreness in teeth, gums, or jaw.
1. Severe or sharp pain in the tooth or jaw.
2. A loose tooth.
3. Red, swollen, or bleeding gums.
6. Swollen glands in the neck.
1. An ache or sharp pain in a tooth, often when you bite or chew.
2. Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth – a sign of severe decay or an abscess (infection).
What to Do Now
1. You’ll need to see the dentist, especially if you have signs of an abscess. The following home treatments can relieve some pain:
2. To remove trapped food particles, use dental floss. Also swish warm salt water around in your mouth.
3. Press an ice cube inside your mouth near the affected tooth, and suck on it to numb your gum.
When to Call the Doctor
1. If you have any symptoms of an abscess; you many have a serious infection that requires emergency treatment.
2. If your toothache lasts longer than a day or two; if you have continual bouts of throbbing pain in a tooth; or if the tooth is highly sensitive to heat, cold, or pressure. You may have a cavity that requires a filling.
3. If your gums are painful, swollen, and red; you may have an impacted tooth or gum disease.
How to Prevent It
1. Brush at least twice a day using a nonabrasive, fluoride-containing toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss at least twice a day. Replace your toothbrush every few months.
2. Cut down on or eliminate sweet and sticky foods, which are especially damaging to tooth enamel.
3. Have your teeth cleaned and examined by a dentist once a year.