February 9 is Toothache Day – ouch! Toothaches are a sharp pain in the mouth, often centered around the tooth or gums. Why would anyone want to celebrate that?
The origin of this day is speculated to correspond with the day the Hershey Corporation was founded. Hershey is the largest producer of chocolate in North America, so the origin of this day coinciding with Hershey’s beginnings in 1894 makes sense. February 9 is also known as St. Apollonia Day. In 249 A.D., Apollonia, who was a Deaconess in Alexandria in Egypt, was attacked by a mob who knocked out her teeth. The Egyptian government had given the group permission to burn anyone who would not give up their Christianity. Refusing, Apollonia threw herself into the fire and took her own life. She was then made the Patron Saint of dentistry and toothaches.
Toothaches can be caused by any number of things, but the most common are cavities, wisdom teeth coming in, gum disease, a cracked tooth, infected dental pulp, jaw disease, or tooth root exposure. They can also be caused by more serious things such as heart problems like angina or a myocardial infarction, causing a referred pain in your mouth.
To celebrate Toothache Day, educate yourself on what you can do to keep yourself from going through this pain. Here are just a few ways:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day.
- Flossing regularly.
- Use mouthwash.
- Eating foods that are beneficial to tooth health and consuming water with fluoride added.
- Staying away from detrimental foods like those high in sugars.
- Do not smoke.