Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Although there are many causes for "toothaches", the correct procedure is to call your dentist. If you do not have one, call a friends dentist. If its after hours, call and take the appointment. Ok, but what to do until then?
The first thing to try is to take a pain killer such as Ibuprofen (Combiflam or Flexon) or Crocin. Both of these medications are not only good at cutting down inflammation but also provide pain relief for mild and moderate pain. Both are excellent to be used as first line medications for tooth pain. Do not take a stronger narcotic medication without trying one of these two. The sole exception would be for someone who has a bleeding problem or an allergy that can be caused by either of these drugs.
It is not advisable to place tablets or clove inside the mouth in an attempt to alleviate the pain. Some patients try and holding this against the tooth in an attempt to stop the pain, but the medicines can cause burns in the gingiva. Rinsing frequently with warm saline solution can help in the event that a patient has a swelling in the gum. It is not advisable to place a hot compress on the outside of the face, since this can draw an infection toward the skin of the face and can cause more swelling.
Sometimes patients experience toothaches immediately after eating. Usually these people have a tooth or teeth with deep caries and eating can cause the teeth to throb. For these patients I advise not letting food come in contact with the painful tooth (teeth) since it can cause a worsening of the tooth ache. Often teeth with deep cavities and vital pulps will calm down on their own if left alone for a short period of time (an hour).
If you are experiencing an "after office hours" tooth ache and cannot reach your dentist, a trip to the hospital emergency room is an option, since many emergency rooms have oral surgeons on call.