February 06, 2014
Believe it or not, there’s a national holiday to honor – of all things – the toothache. It’s true. Though the origin of this day remains a mystery, it’s one of those unusual days that is celebrated.
Some believe that the day glorifies St. Apollonia, the patron saint of dentists, whose feast is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church. Some even see it as the day that marked the birth of the Hershey’s Candy Corporation – the reason behind many a toothache!
Whatever its history, Toothache Day is a reminder for all to focus on our oral health, and schedule a visit to the dentist for a check-up – to keep troublesome toothaches at bay.
So, what is a toothache, and what can cause it?
Quite simply, a toothache is a pain within or around a tooth. The factors leading to this pain are:
- Tooth decay
- Tooth swelling
- Tooth fractures
- Infection of gums
- Repetitive actions of the tooth
- Damaged filling
What can be done to ease a toothache?
- Rinse mouth thoroughly with warm, salt water
- Take a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
- Floss teeth gently to dislodge any food particles between them
- Apply clove oil or antiseptic with benzocaine content to the sore tooth
- Consult a dentist if the toothache or fever persists
The Dentist’s role
Depending on the nature of the pain, your dentist may use any of the following procedures to stop a toothache:
- Filling of a cavity
- Tooth extraction
- Root canal
How can toothaches be prevented?
Following a proper oral hygiene routine will help prevent toothaches.
- Brush twice daily using a fluoride-rich toothpaste
- Floss once daily
- Reduce intake of foods rich in sugar
To minimize your chances of suffering with a toothache, do your best daily to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist at least twice a year.