Complications From Toothache Can Kill – Expert

Complications From Toothache Can Kill – Expert - Natural Junkie

A consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Olawale Adamson, discusses toothache, its causes, symptoms and treatment with The Punch. Read excerpt below.

What is toothache?

Literally, it is referred to as a pain in a tooth; anything that brings pain around the tooth area.

What are some of the causes?

There are many things that cause toothache. The major cause of this is caving; that is a hole in the tooth. We have gum disease and broken tooth and trauma. It could even be from a tumour affecting the joint of the teeth.

How true is it that applying petrol to toothache, especially in case of gum disease, is effective?

That is obviously not true.  Petrol is a chemical. It is not healthy for the tooth and it has no effect on the toothache at all.  The cure for toothache is dependent on the cause. Applying petrol to a tooth that aches does no good to the teeth.

What people just do is to add something abrasive hoping that it burns off whatever is causing the pain but it doesn’t work that way; rather, it would cause more damage to the teeth.

Is there any other home remedy that works for this ache?

People have different home remedies for different ailments. As a professional, I don’t recommend home remedies for any dental issue because no matter what they do, the pain will return eventually.

There is this scenario I love to paint to people. When you enter a house and the place stinks because there is a dead rat in the house. No matter the amount of air freshener that you use, the smell will never leave because the root cause has not been addressed.  It’s like that too; if they don’t go to the hospital for proper treatment, the toothache would return incessantly. You have to treat that tooth itself.

Does toothache come with mouth odour?

Not necessarily. It depends on the cause of the ache and the stage of the toothache. If it has really gone bad, it could definitely smell.

What is tooth abscess?

An abscess is an infection that occurs on any part of the body. So, in case of the tooth, it is an infection that occurs in the tooth.

How is it diagnosed?

What we do is ask a series of questions from the patients to know the type that the patient has. We examine the mouth by looking into the gums; then finally, we do an X-ray.

How is it treated?

To treat it, we will first obtain medical history and conduct a physical examination. We will ask the patient questions about the pain. The questions will border on when the pain started, how severe it is, where the pain is located, what makes the pain worse, and what makes it better.

We will then examine the mouth, teeth, gums, jaws, tongue, throat, sinuses, ears, nose, and neck. X-rays may be taken as well as other tests, depending on what we suspect is causing the ache. Then treatment will be prescribed based on our findings.

What are the risk factors for toothache?

The risk factor for toothache is diet and oral health habits. When you keep eating food that has sugar, especially carbohydrate meal, it could lead to it. The second is oral habits; one needs to brush one’s teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.

Can complications arise from toothache?

Yes; many complications can arise from toothache. In case of abscess, it can spread to the face and even the brain. It can even damage the bones of the jaws causing them to become fragile. It can lead to teeth loss, osteomyelitis and even lead to death.

Is it advisable to use pain relievers for painful toothache before going to the hospital?

Whenever you have a toothache, the best is to visit a dentist.

What are the symptoms of toothache?

Toothache and jaw pain have common complaints; pain with chewing, hot or cold sensitivity, bleeding or discharge from around a tooth or gums, swelling around a tooth or swelling of one’s jaw, injury or trauma to the area.

What can be done to prevent toothache?

People should watch how they eat carbohydrates and sugar, brush well with fluoride toothpaste, be clean and visit the dentist every six months.

Does toothache have to do with teeth colouring?

No. Colouring of the teeth is totally different. It has its own cause. Although in an extreme case when the ache is really bad, it can cause tooth blackness.

How is brushing the teeth at night helpful in preventing tooth decay?

At night when sleeping, the mouth is not at work and because the mouth is not working, the bacteria causing some of these problems have enough time to work on the mouth. But if you brush the teeth before sleeping, the activities of the bacteria is prevented or reduced.

Most people avoid the dentist because they believe their teeth will be removed if they go to a dentist. Is tooth removal always the cure for toothache?

No. In fact, tooth removal is mostly the last resort.  Most of the persons with toothache would come to the hospital after using home remedies for too long to the extent that the toothache has become worse and even started to decay.  Then we wouldn’t have a choice but to remove the teeth to prevent the decay from spreading to other parts of the teeth.

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