Pain in teeth does not come from the hard white enamel that covers a tooth but from the soft pulp in the middle of a tooth, beneath the enamel. This ‘pulp' is packed with nerve endings, so even the smallest irritation can trigger a surprising amount of pain.
Dental decay is often the most common cause of toothache in younger people and can be exacerbated by having a poor oral health regime. Usually, a tooth's enamel protects its pulp from anything irritating, like hot or cold foods and drinks, but if you have a hole or a crack in the enamel, then irritants, even cold air, can cause intense pain.
In older people, the gums recede and can expose the nerves in the tooth just next to the gum,
causing teeth to become very sensitive and occasionally painful. A trip to the dentist is a must if you get toothache, but if you cannot get an appointment, a painkiller containing paracetamol or ibuprofen may help. Clove oil can also help which can be applied directly to the source of the pain.
Ask a member of our pharmacy team how best to deal with the pain of toothache whilst awaiting your dental appointment.
It is important to look after your teeth and gums through brushing, twice daily, using fluoride toothpastes in adults and a suitable toothpaste for children, flossing and an antibacterial mouthwash regularly. Toothbrushes should be changed every 3 months and regular check-ups with your dentist are also really important, normally every 12 months.