Tooth Swelling & Pain: Symptoms, Causes and How To Relieve Them

Tooth Swelling: Definitive Guide to Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Toothache and swollen teeth can be caused by a wide range of dental issues, ranging from dental cavities and abscesses to trauma or infection. It’s important to pay attention to these symptoms and take steps to address them as they may indicate an underlying issue that needs treatment. We’ll share the different symptoms of tooth swelling and pain, possible causes for them, and a few suggestions on how to relieve them.

Understanding Tooth Pain and Swollen Teeth

A tooth is made of three main layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. The outermost layer is the enamel, which is the strongest and most protective layer. Dentin lies beneath the enamel, and it helps to provide strength and structure. The innermost layer of a tooth is the pulp, which contains nerve endings and blood vessels that can be sensitive to pain when exposed to a stimulus such as heat or cold.

When toothache and swollen teeth occur, it usually means that something has disrupted the structure of the tooth, causing damage to the enamel or dentin. This could be a cavity, a cracked or fractured tooth, gum disease, or an infection. All of these issues can lead to inflammation and pain.

Common Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptom of tooth pain and swollen teeth is a sharp, throbbing pain that can range from mild to severe. Other symptoms may include:

      • Difficulty chewing

      • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures

      • Swelling around the affected tooth

      • Redness in the gums near the affected tooth

      • Bad taste in the mouth

      • Severe headache and fever due to an infection

    Possible Causes for Toothache and Swollen Tooth

    1. Dental Cavities

    Dental cavities, also known as dental caries or tooth decay, occur when plaque, a thin film of bacteria, builds up on the teeth and breaks down the enamel. This can lead to holes in the tooth, which expose the dentin and pulp layers underneath. As a result, pain is experienced when food or liquids come into contact with the affected area.

    2. Cracked or Broken Tooth

    This occurs when a tooth is subject to extreme pressure or trauma, such as the result of grinding one’s teeth, biting into something hard, or being in an accident. When this occurs, the enamel can be damaged and the dentin is exposed, resulting in pain and sensitivity.

    3. Gum Disease

    Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that can affect the teeth and cause pain and swelling. This condition develops when plaque accumulates along the gum line and causes inflammation. This can lead to redness, soreness, and bleeding of the gums when brushing or flossing. If left untreated, gum disease can cause teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.

    4. Infection

    A bacterial infection, such as a dental abscess or a root canal, can lead to swelling of the gums and severe pain in the affected tooth. In some cases, pus may be visible around the infected area or at the tip of the tooth. If this is not treated promptly, the infection may spread to other parts of the mouth and body.

    How To Relieve Tooth Pain and Swelling

    1. Over-the-Counter Medication

    Taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve some of the discomfort associated with toothache and swollen teeth. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and talk to your doctor if you have any questions about the medication.

    2. Cold Compress

    Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce swelling and numb pain. To do this, wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and hold it against the swollen area for about 10 minutes at a time. Be sure to take breaks in between applications to avoid tissue damage from extremely cold temperatures.

    3. Salt Water Rinse

    Salt contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and pain associated with toothache. To make the rinse, mix a half teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water and swish the mixture around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Repeat this several times a day until the symptoms improve.

    When to See a Dentist

    If home remedies don’t seem to be working or if your symptoms worsen, it’s important to seek dental treatment from your dentist as soon as possible. A dentist can diagnose the cause of your discomfort and recommend the best course of action to relieve symptoms and prevent further damage. Common treatment options include:

        • Root Canal Treatment: This procedure is used to remove infection and decay from inside the infected tooth. During the procedure, a dentist will remove any damaged tissue and then seal the area shut with a filling or crown.

        • Dental Fillings: If teeth have been damaged by cavities, dental fillings can be used to restore them. During this treatment, the dentist removes any decay and replaces it with a filling material.

        • Crowns: Crowns are used to restore severely damaged teeth and can be made from either porcelain or metal. The dentist will first drill away any decay and then place the crown on top of the remaining tooth structure.

      Preventive Measures

      Here are some tips to help you keep your oral health in optimal condition:

          1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste can help remove plaque buildup and reduce inflammation. Additionally, flossing daily can help remove food particles and other debris that may become stuck between the teeth.

          1. Eat a Balanced Diet: Eating a balanced diet is important for both oral and overall health. Avoid sugary foods and drinks that can lead to cavities and opt for foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains instead.

          1. Visit the Dentist Regularly: Seeing your dentist every six months for routine checkups and cleanings can help detect problems early on and prevent them from becoming worse.

        Contact Us for an Emergency Dental Care

        If you have an emergency dental care issue that requires immediate attention, contact us right away. Our experienced and professional staff is available to assist you with any toothache, swelling, or pain that you may be experiencing. We offer same-day appointments and can provide treatments such as root canals, fillings, crowns, and more. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!