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Toothaches are a pain – literally. They can keep you from focusing on daily tasks and make it difficult to eat and drink. But why do they happen? And what can you do about it?

Toothaches often indicate that you have a cavity. A cavity is the decay of your tooth enamel–the hard outermost layer of your tooth. Toothaches may also indicate gum disease, or in more rare cases, it may indicate an abscessed or impacted tooth.

The finest method for preventing cavity toothaches is to avoid them in the first place. Brush twice a day for two minutes, floss once a day, and book regular dentist appointments. The sooner your dentist catches a cavity, the better! Your dentist will be an immense help in the maintenance and prevention of cavities.

If you have a toothache, first rinse out your mouth with warm water. Then, gently use floss to remove any crumbs or plaque stuck between the teeth. If your pain perseveres, call Dr. Andrea Miller. DO NOT apply aspirin to the painful area. It might burn your gum tissue.

An abscessed tooth is one in which bacteria have entered into the pulp of the tooth (the soft inner tooth, comprising blood vessels, nerves, and other soft tissue). The infection might lead to the death of your tooth pulp. Pus builds up at the base of the jaw bone and if it is untreated, considerable damage may be done to the jaw bone, teeth, and surrounding tissue.

The sooner your dentist can diagnose the issue, the better chance the tooth has to be saved. If you have a toothache, call Children's Dental Specialists of Lake County at (440)266-1740 immediately!