Tips for a Toothache: How to Handle Dental Pain
Posted on Aug 01, 2012 by DentalVibe
Toothaches. Everyone gets them. Kids, adults, even dentists themselves. True to their name, toothaches are painful. If you've ever had one, you probably wondered how you could get rid of it... and sooner than later.
If you're experiencing tooth pain that you just can't shake, you should see your dentist. Of course, that requires making an appointment, and you might not be too keen to grit your teeth and bear it (literally) while you wait.
So what can you do in the meantime? Tooth pain is often a sign of a more serious oral health problem, so remember that any treatment you apply may only take care of the symptoms and not the underlying issue. Nevertheless, you want the pain to go away.
How to Relieve a Toothache: Home Tips for Alleviating Dental Pain
Well say hello to our Toothache Tips... practical advice for short-term toothache relief while you await an appointment with your dentist. Here are five simple steps you can take to alleviate dental pain.
1) Pain Reliever. This one's no surprise. The same aspirin or ibuprofen that you take for headaches or body pains will be effective as temporary relief for toothache too. Because ibuprofen has an anti-inflammatory effect, it may be a better bet than aspirin. Toothaches are sometimes associated with inflammation of the gums. Always be sure you understand the manufacturer's warnings and instructions when using over-the-counter pain reliever, and always follow the recommended dosage.
2) Cold Compress. Applying a cold temperature to the side of your cheek will help numb the pain and also reduce swelling. Apply it to whichever side of your face is experiencing pain. About 20 minutes should do it. Never apply ice directly to your cheek. You need the protective layer of a cold compress, or at least a thick towel, to guard your skin.
3) Damage Control. Your toothache might be caused by leftover debris between your teeth. Call in the clean-up crew for some damage control: your toothbrush, mouthwash, floss, and a glass of water. You'll need to brush, floss, swish, and rinse in order to clear out stubborn leftovers from that late-night snack. Just be gentle so as not to aggravate your sensitive teeth.
4) Desensitize. Use an over-the-counter desensitizing agent like Orajel. The well-known medication claims "instant relief for toothaches" and it comes pretty close to that, but keep in mind that it only temporarily numbs the tooth. When the desensitizing agent wears off (usually after a few hours), the pain will return.
5) Keep Your Head Up. Elevating your head will help to alleviate dental pain. This will reduce the amount of pressure on your teeth, thus making them less sensitive. Just don't lean back too long or you'll get a neck ache instead!
Let your dentist know what you did to alleviate dental pain and whether it was effective. That information can help him or her diagnose the cause. You can also ask your dental practice about its available pain-free dentistry services to minimize your pain during your visit as well.