December 17, 2018

What to Do for a Toothache with Braces?

What to Do for a Toothache with Braces

A toothache is a real headache! Your mouth starts to hurt, your teeth are sensitive, and your head starts to pound. Sometimes, your jaw and gums are sensitive to stabbing swollen pains from a toothache. To treat the toothache, the first step is to find the root cause of the pain. According to Gentle Touch Dentistry, a dentist in Palos Hills, these are the most common causes associated with a toothache:

  • Lack of dental care: Do you brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day? The amount of care you give to your teeth plays a big role in how often they hurt.
  • Food trapped between teeth: The amount and the size of the food stuck between teeth impacts the level of pain.
  • Teeth grinding: Do you grind your teeth at night or when stressed? The top and bottom teeth shift as a result of the grinding, which causes the jaw muscles to tense.

These are the most common causes of toothaches that you can solve with home remedies to manage pain.

But What About When You Wear Braces?

Your mouth is already sore from wearing braces that are straightening the teeth. A toothache that causes more pain than the soreness of wearing braces mean that something else is wrong. Here are some ideas for what to do when this happens and how to go about treatment:

  • First, check the root cause of the toothache; is the toothache caused by braces or is there a problem with the tooth itself?
  • Broken braces: You could have a broken bracket that is no longer holding onto the teeth, protruding bands that are rubbing the inside cheek skin, or broken wires that are poking against the gum.
  • Have you been brushing and flossing your teeth properly? This is especially important when you have braces and you can quickly develop problems if you neglect this.
  • Does cleaning your teeth, gums, and braces cause extra pain aside from the soreness of wearing braces? The extra pain could be a sign of an infection or dental problems with the teeth.
  • Check for a cavity, a split or cracked tooth, swollen gums, enamel sensitivity, or decay of the tooth.

If you have any of these issues, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist. 

Natural Remedies for a Toothache

There are a number of remedies to help relieve the pain and swelling associated with a toothache, even if you are wearing braces. Natural remedies, along with flossing and brushing your teeth, are the number one choice. According to Dr. Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS, a board-certified orthodontist:

“Another cause of sensitivity is thinning tooth enamel. This is due to poor brushing habits or improper dental hygiene. Failure to remove plaque and buildup can break down the enamel which protects your teeth. This can weaken your teeth, leaving them exposed and more susceptible to sensitivity.”

Now, let’s take a look at some of the natural remedies that you can use to keep a toothache at bay.

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help remove any harmful bacteria and debris from the teeth and mouth.
  • Floss and brush your teeth to help prevent or reduce plaque residue on teeth.
  • Apply ice to the affected area to numb the pain and reduce the inflammation in the gum.
  • Drinking cold water has the same effect on a toothache as ice. The difference is the cold water is inside the mouth, whereas the ice is outside the mouth.

OTC Medicine for a Toothache

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can also help with a toothache. The non-prescription medications brought at stores that sell pharmaceutical drugs for pain relief. OTC medicines provide pain relief and help bring downthe swelling from a toothache. According to Dr. Greg Asatrain, DDS, the following pain management tips can help ease a toothache: 

  • Aleve, Advil, Mortin, and Tylenol are some pain relievers that you can try for pain relief. The pain relievers target the inflammation in the body and the fever brought on by a toothache.
  • Anbesol and Orajel pain relievers numb the pain in your teeth and gums. This gel-like substance is good for numbing the sore area.
  • Silicone or natural hydrocarbon wax eases the pain caused by braces. The protective barriers are placed over the braces to keep them from rubbing or cutting skin tissue.

Wearing braces can be a toothache in itself, but proper routine oral care will keep the pain away.  It doesn’t have to be a pain to maintain a beautiful smile with braces. The goal is to take routine, actionable steps towards proactive oral care. If you develop a toothache, natural and OTC medicines are helpful in pain management. Preventive care with braces also keeps the pain at bay. It’s up to you to keep the toothache away.

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