What to do if you have a toothache

Published On: Jan 02 2014 01:06:08 PM PST   Updated On: Jan 15 2014 02:20:38 PM PST
Toothbrush and toothpaste

By Mayo Clinic News Network

Tooth decay is the primary cause of toothaches for most children and adults. Bacteria that live in your mouth thrive on the sugars and starches in the food you eat. These bacteria form a sticky plaque that clings to the surface of your teeth.

Acids produced by the bacteria in plaque can eat through the hard, white coating on the outside of your teeth (enamel), creating a cavity. The first sign of decay may be a sensation of pain when you eat something sweet, very cold or very hot. A toothache often indicates that your dentist will need to work on your teeth.

Self-care tips
Until you can see your dentist, try these self-care tips for a toothache:

Call your dentist

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-toothache/basics/ART-20056628