What's the Best Way to Deal With a Toothache When You Have Braces?

Having a toothache during an orthodontic treatment can be a bit worrying. Is this just your braces doing their job as they apply pressure to your teeth or do you have an untreated dental condition unrelated to your braces? Treatment for a toothache can be slightly different when you have braces attached to your teeth. What can you expect?

Your Braces

The first mystery to uncover is if your toothache is actually sensitivity triggered by your braces. Is the discomfort dull? Does it seem to affect a series of teeth instead of being centred around a single tooth? Does your discomfort occur after having the archwire on your braces adjusted or replaced? Answering yes to any of these questions suggests that you're experiencing sensitivity associated with having your braces adjusted. Report this problem to your orthodontist right away. They may need to be cautious with any future adjustments to your braces.

Other Causes

Any post-adjustment sensitivity should only be temporary. When your toothache lingers, is sharp in nature, and seems to be originating from a specific tooth, your toothache will require further investigation as your braces aren't directly responsible. This isn't to say that your braces aren't involved. You may have had difficulties comprehensively cleaning your teeth once the brackets of your braces were attached. Additionally, the physical arrangement of braces makes cleaning between your teeth more complicated. 

Temporary Removal of Your Braces

Your dentist will treat your toothache, but you may need to consult with your orthodontist if your braces must be removed for treatment. A general dentist can sometimes remove and replace braces, even though it's not their specialist field. Your braces will only be removed for treatment, so, barring any unforeseen complications, they will be replaced in the same session—which won't disrupt your orthodontic treatment. Ignoring a toothache can be extremely ill-advised. Continuing deterioration can affect the tooth's nerve, which may then require a root canal. This would require a longer removal of your braces to ensure that the work was successful—and this could disrupt or extend your orthodontic treatment.

Treating Your Toothache

Your dentist may start by performing an x-ray, which can be done while your braces are still in place. Ideally, the problem is something as uncomplicated as a cavity that needs to be filled. This won't take particularly long to treat, especially with your braces being replaced immediately afterwards. Your dentist may also provide you with a few tips for oral hygiene while wearing braces to make sure that you don't have to deal with this problem again. 

A toothache must be investigated, regardless of whether or not you have braces. Of course, those braces can make treatment a bit more complicated, but this mustn't stop you from getting the dental care you need before your toothache gets any worse. Contact a local dental clinic, such as Queen Street Dental, to learn more.