Toothaches & Pain Relief:
Toothaches are painful and often happen at unfortunate times. When they occur, it is always best to see one of our dentists as soon as possible. However, we understand everyday life can sometimes take priority. In the meantime, there are a few methods to deal with the pain until you can schedule a visit.
Over the counter medications are our dentists’ first choice for pain relief. Paracetamol is the most commonly used pain relief medication for dealing with tooth pain, since it has a low risk of causing side effects or interactions with other medications you may be using. Ibuprofen may also be used as it also reduces swelling and inflammation – the most common cause of tooth pain. However, Ibuprofen should be used carefully as allergies to the drug are common.
If you have seen a dentist for your tooth pain, he or she may have prescribed an antibiotic medication to deal with a suspected infection. Antibiotics can often clear up most of the symptoms of a toothache by treating the majority of the infection. Unfortunately, in cases of toothaches, a small amount of the infection usually remains in an area that the antibiotics cannot reach. Left untreated, the infection and toothache will nearly always return at a later date.
Most tooth-related pain is caused by some form of swelling and inflammation. It can often help to use an ice pack to help numb the pain. The ice pack should be held to the outside of the face closest to where you are feeling pain for no longer than 15 minutes at a time. If you do not have an ice pack, some ice cubes wrapped in a towel can be just as effective.
Keeping the painful area and the rest of the mouth clean can help prevent the pain from spreading or becoming worse. Your brushing and flossing routine should continue as much as possible, but toothaches can sometimes make it too painful to brush. In such cases, mouthwash and salt water gargles can help clear the area of plaque and food particles.
It is important to keep in mind that all these methods are only temporary methods for dealing with the symptoms of some underlying problem. Very few dental conditions are able to heal on their own; they almost always become worse over time. In cases of tooth infections, the nerves in your teeth can be destroyed. This reduces the pain and can make it feel like the infection has gone away, when in reality it has actually spread further into the mouth. You should always have any type or degree of tooth pain examined by a dentist no matter how mild.