A chipped tooth requires treatment. Without proper treatment from a qualified dentist, the issue can become worse and lead to more severe oral health complications. Understanding these risks can help you decide if and when you should visit a dentist after a chipped tooth occurs. A chipped tooth that is left untreated can cause unnecessary pain,…
Ask a General Dentist What to do for Tooth Pain
Every general dentist is grappling with the new reality of social distancing. So are their patients, who have questions about dental care in these unprecedented times.
As a result, many people are putting off routine dental visits. Others postpone minor dental issues like small, painless cavities. So it is safe to predict that small problems can now grow big enough to cause tooth pain. What do you do about it? Let our general dentist explain.
What a general dentist wants you to know about tooth pain
Pain is a notification. It is the body’s way of alerting its owner to a problem. In the case of toothache, the alert points to a problem in the mouth. Because the end-goal of this ‘alert’ is problem-solving, a person should not resign themselves to managing and living with the pain. For the following reasons:
- A toothache could point to an infection that would only get worse if it goes untreated
- The pain could be as a result of a problematic wisdom tooth that could affect a person’s bite
- Root sensitivity can cause intermittent tooth pain. It requires treatment
- Tooth pain could result from an injury that exposes the inner tooth to the risk of infection and tooth death
- It could also happen with people who constantly clench their jaws
Most of these causes of tooth pain count as dental emergencies. They could result in tooth loss, extensive dental work or long-term orthodontic treatment.
In the meantime, here are some tips on how to manage the pain while waiting for the day of a dental appointment.
Managing a toothache at home
There is nothing like tooth pain to throw off its sufferer’s daily routine. A toothache affects the person’s ability to concentrate during the day and sleep through the night. Thankfully, a little at-home care can manage the pain as the patient waits for their dentist appointment:
1. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and painkillers
A patient can contact their dentist and get a prescription for medication to reduce pain and inflammation. Tylenol and ibuprofen are available over the counter and can help get the person through the night.
2. Cold compress
Cold causes blood vessels to constrict, which deactivates nerve endings in the target area. Wrap ice in a towel and hold it to the outside of the mouth, right at the site of the aching tooth. Keep the compress in place for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat once every couple of hours.
3. Over the counter numbing gels
There is a variety of over the counter medications that a person can apply directly at the site of a toothache. They work similarly to oral pain medication.
4. Clove oil
This is the home-remedy version of medicated numbing gels. Clove oil can numb the nerves, much like the active ingredient in numbing gels.
5. Saltwater rinse
Salt is an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent. Rinsing the mouth with salt cleans the mouth, brings down swelling and protects the tooth from further infection. At the very least, the salt slows down bacteria that may be causing inflammation.
6. Rinsing with food-grade hydrogen peroxide
It works like a salt rinse, except that it is much stronger. As such, it is not an option for children. To make the rinse, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water and swish around the mouth. Spit it out.
This home remedy is a good option for people suffering from gum disease. The rinse goes as far as to remove stubborn plaque and bacteria.
Pain management should not be a long-term thing
Instead, contact our practice to set up an appointment with our skilled and experienced general dentists. Let us remove the root cause of your tooth pain, once and for all.
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