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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 Dental Health Private Dental Clinic to see a dentist as soon as possible, rather than waiting for routine dental health review.
How will the dentist treat my toothache?
Your Dental Health Private Dental Clinic 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.
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 Dental Health Private Dental Clinic 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 of discomfort, contact Dental Health Private Dental Clinic in Southampton as soon as possible. Give us a call on 02380 473 612.
People are talking about us
The biggest complement we receive is when our patients refer their friends and family to Dental Health Private Dental Clinic. 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…
The staff at the Dental Health Practice are fantastic. They are friendly, professional, helpful and caring. The practice is extremely well run and I would recommend the Dental Health Practice to anyone who is looking for a new dentist.
After being absent for some time, Sue and her team went out of their way to make sure my comfort was a priority, due to myself feeling anxious about my upcoming appointment. The practice, was very clean, fresh, modern and hygiene is always perfect!
I cannot praise this practice enough. My Mother (a non-patient with a big fear of dentists) needed an urgent extraction. The service from start to finish was faultless; everybody was friendly, caring and professional. My Mother came out with a big smile on her face, saying “they are all lovely and it is spotlessly clean” They made a big impression on her and will return if she needs more treatment. Thank you to all the team!
I am fairly new to The Dental Health Practice and I am so glad they were recommended to me! The reception staff and dental team are all very friendly, helpful and go the extra mile to help out. Nadeem and Paula fixed a broken tooth very efficiently and promptly and hygienist, Corinne and her assistant, have done a very thorough job of giving my teeth a super deep clean. Thank you to all. I will most definitely recommend.
I have required a lot of dental work and repairs, and Ingrid, Julie and the whole staff have been extremely helpful and accomodating. The practice is always very clean, and up to date with all Covid safety precautions. Couldn't be more at ease and happier with my treatment.
Nadeem and Paula enough. They were so kind and gentle and made me feel so reassured. Nadeem explained everything and Paula was lovely. So a very big thank you to you both. Although I need treatment next week i am not worried about it. Praise indeed.
This is a first class dental practice across the board in every thing they do..... Never been disappointed with the service or any member of the staff who are so friendly and always try to help.
I was totally amazed by the perfect job Dr Nadeem Rahi did on my tooth filling today it was totally painless and quick. I also was made to feel very at ease and impressed by the great atmosphere and professional work provided by Dr Nadeem Rahi and all the staff. A great many thanks to you and I look forward to my annual check ups :)
Extremely pleased with how my Dental appointment went today,felt perfectly safe with all the extra precautions the Practice has in place and very pleased with my pain free treatment. Maureen Monteith
Having used this practice for nearly 30 years, i have always received a gentle service from the friendly staff. Any issues are quickly resolved with a good number of treatment options. I would highly recommend this team.
Really fabulous dental practice. Filled me with confidence. Very friendly and professional. Wish I had found them 2 years ago. My Husband is now registered. I will definitely be recommending.
This is the first time I have been to a dentist since lockdown, and my first time at this practice. All the staff were very friendly and made me feel very safe, especially considering the current Covid situation. Janet (the hygienist) was very helpful and extremely knowledgeable, making my first hygiene experience an incredibly positive one! Janet's nurse, Jess, was very good as well as making me feel safe and well looked after. Overall, an excellent experience at the practice and will definitely be going back again.
As a 47 year old I was always pretty happy going to my NHS dentist until I started going private. What a difference!! I had my first hygiene appointment yesterday - I was educated like never before on how to prevent plaque build up and I had the best descale I've ever had. Back in 3 months to see how well I've maintained it. Thank you so much!
I have been a patient of the practice for over 30 years and in all that time I have been cared for like family. I cannot recommend this practice highly enough. Everyone at DHP is kind, caring, friendly and professional. My entire family are patients here and we would not go anywhere else. First class in every possible way.
Seen by Ingrid and Jen. Great service, 10/10 for cleanliness and preparation for Covid-19.
I have been a client here with Peter Watts as my dentist since 1983. My hygienist Janet Hayworth since 1990. Professional compassionate and empathic in their treatment made it easy for me to overcome childhood fear of the dentist. The Practice driven by Peter Watts has always been to ensure good dental health for which I remain truly grateful.
Artur Le Marquand
I would just like to thank Peter and his staff after having my tooth extracted. I am probably one of the worst nervous people when going to the dentist after a bad experience when I was younger. I was made very at ease from the time I walked into the practice.
can't find a good dentist in Scotland I may commute ! I have always found the whole team, caring and responsive. There is no pressure to have treatment, good advice is given and if something needed doing it was explained why. They seem to be driven by good customer service and prevention which was perfect for me.
Excellent, reliable, dental care with a personal touch. Very helpful for short-notice issues. Highly recommended.
I am over the moon with my lovely straight teeth! Thank you to all of the staff at this practice who made this happen, so very friendly and extremely helpful. I would highly recommend. Thanks again.
The best dental practise around, welcoming friendly reception staff, really knowledgeable and professional dental care and a wonderful hygienist. They worked with my son who had dental phobia from a previous bad experience at a different practice and he now goes to appointments without any fear, they really do go above and beyond.
How do I start , starting with 5 stars is the best way, you will not find a more happy friendly and helpful team the service is excellent from start to finish I'm the kind of person that when it comes to the Dentist I need my life managed, they do this for me they explain everything in as much detail as you require. We all know that from time to time the dentist is not everyone's favourite place but whole team will work to makes any experience you have as enjoyable as possible. Thank you again.
Feeling quite nervous regarding root canal treatment but felt completely at ease by Dr Pete Watt and Paula. Each step of my treatment was discussed with me, very professional and supportive service received. Thank you.
Cant recommend this dentist enough. I was told about the practice by a friend and having tried over 10 in the past few years I couldn’t believe how different it was to every other I’d been to.
I feel in safe hands when I have my appointments at the Dental Practice. Every member of the team give genuine friendly service. I wouldn’t go anywhere else!
As a 'terrified of the dentist' person who hasn't been for many years, I had to go today with serious toothache. I found this dental practice online and they squeezed me in. I've always been sedated in the past but that wasn't an option for me today and I just wanted the pain to go away. I was treated by Ingrid and her nurse, whose name I can't remember (so sorry because you were so kind). Ingrid was fantastic and put me at ease. She was kind and patient, even when I cried before I actually sat in the chair!
My family and my extended family have been seeing Peter and Janet for over 20 years and we will continue to. I cannot recommend them highly enough for their professional and gentle approach to dentistry.
Sam B Kemp
Brilliant dental practise, been with them for years and have always found the service personal and efficient. Lovely staff.
Extremely Happy. Brilliant staff and Pete is a legend!!! I’m Going to spend the rest of the day looking at my new teeth in the mirror!! Thanks again everyone.
The Dental Health Practice in west End, Southampton is an exemplary example of how a dental practice should be run. They all know their stuff and are friendly and accommodating - myself having been 40 years a patient says that it's good, very good!
Been looked after by Pete and Janet for about 12 years now. If you're a little nervous of dentists, this is the practice to go to. They know loads of little tricks and in all my time with a crown, fillings and a full brace I've never been in pain once. Fantastic, friendly, professional team. All the state of the art equipment is in there and they advise and ease your mind the whole way. As I always think, you get what you pay for, in this case; pain free & a much healthier & prettier smile.
Quite simply, the best ..... I'm moving to Ireland soon but I will not change my dental practice!!!
The best dentist i've ever been to. Helped me with issues caused by another dentist, Drs are so kind and caring. Hygienist again fab sense of humour and gets the work done. Receptionists always happy and chatty. I totally recommend this practice, if you want to feel safe happy and cared for at a practice then this is the one for you!
I have been with this dental practice for just over five years now and cannot fault the service. The reception staff are always friendly and welcoming, they manage to make me feel at ease (I am a bit of a nervous patient) before I even go in for my appointment. Pete, my dentist has done wonders with both mine and my daughters teeth.
I have been extremely well cared for by Dr. Peter Watt and his remarkable team over the past 25 years. Highly recommended!
Excellent service and helpful staff.