How To Ease Tooth Pain Until You Can Get Into The Dentist

Submitted by: Dr. Joseph Wilbanks

It seems with all things good or bad they tend to happen at the most inconvenient times. This is never truer than with tooth pain. The stabbing pain either awakens you in the middle of the night or flairs up on the weekend when even talking to your dentist may be next to impossible. What causes this kind of pain? Tooth decay is the primary cause of toothaches in just about everyone. The bacteria that live in your mouth thrive on the sugars and starches in the food you eat. These bacteria form a sticky plaque that clings to the surface of your teeth. Acids produced by the bacteria in plaque can eat through the hard, white coating on the outside of your teeth (enamel), creating a cavity. The first sign of decay may be a sensation of pain when you eat something sweet, very cold or very hot. A toothache often indicates that your dentist will need to work on your teeth, but this is not always possible at the moment the pain occurs.

As with any emergency it is good to have a plan of what you will do and how to treat the tooth pain when it does flair up. Having some basic knowledge of first aid may enable you to find some relief from tooth pain or help someone you love get through the hours or even days until a dentist can see you. So when that tell tale sign of dental pain suddenly makes its presence known here are a few remedies to try until you can see your dentist.

1.If the pain is being worsened or even caused by something caught between the teeth try flossing. A note of caution here though because the surrounding tissue may be inflamed be sure and floss gently. Try to use the floss to pry out what could be caught without dislodging a loose filling or injuring the surrounding gum line.


2.Take an over the counter pain reliever. Ibuprofen has the added benefit of being an anti inflammatory. Do be sure and follow the package directions carefully to avoid accidentally overdosing. Do not take someone else s prescription painkillers while this may be tempting to ease dental pain this can lead to several other complications. Also don’t place aspirin or another painkiller directly against your gums, as it may burn your gum tissue.

3.Apply an over the counter antiseptic containing benzocaine. This is swabbed directly onto the irritated tooth and gum. Many patients report great relief using these types of products. They can be purchased in almost all grocery or drug stores. A direct application of oil of cloves (eugenol) also may help.

4.If the pain is severe or there is swelling using ice may help. An ice pack can be applied to the outside of the face or some patients find relief holding an ice chip next to an irritated tooth or gum. This method does not work for everyone since some people find they have increased cold sensitivity in their teeth when having dental pain.

It is extremely important to know what signs are indications of serious dental problems. Swelling, pain when you bite, a foul tasting discharge and redness often indicate infection. This should be reported to your dentist as soon as possible. If you have severe pain, fever with a toothache or are having trouble breathing or swallowing call your dentist immediately. If you can not reach him or her go directly to the closest emergency room.

By using these first aid measures you can help yourself or someone close to you be more comfortable until they can see their dentist. Have a plan, stock up on needed dental first aid supplies and keep your dentist number handy, then whatever happens you ll be ready!

About the Author: Dr. Joseph Wilbanks, DDS, is a leading dentist in Toccoa, Georgia. Dr. Wilbanks specializes in Toccoa Smile Makeovers, Dental Implants and Sedation Dentistry. Visit us for more information

or call (706) 886-9439.


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