No one likes to deal with tooth pain and when you cannot get to our office, whether because it is a non-office hour or you are away from home, the pain can seem even worse. Luckily, there are some ways that you can make the pain manageable while you wait to get in to see us. Sometimes tooth pain is not even a sign of an emergency and can be rectified on its own. Of course, we always want to hear from you when you are having trouble so that we may help talk you through the situation to ensure a positive outcome.
Check Your Mouth
The first step is to do a thorough evaluation of what is going on in your mouth. Tooth pain can occur because of a lodged popcorn kernel or any other crumb that is stuck in a tooth and unable to come out. If you cannot get a good look in your mouth, ask someone you live with to take a look with a flashlight for you. If you are able to carefully dislodge the food particle you may be able to free yourself from the pain, but be careful not to damage your tooth or scratch your gums in the process. If it will not come out on its own, try swishing with warm water to encourage the particle to get loose and come out.
Rinse with Warm Salt Water
If you have a true toothache, warm salt water will be very effective in reducing the pain. Place ½ tsp of salt in your warm water and stir it up. Once it is combined, swish it around your mouth for a few minutes. The salt will help to remove the fluid that has built up in your tissue, giving you some relief from the pain.
Ice or Cold Pack
If you have a nagging toothache that just not go away, place a cold compress or covered ice pack over the outside of the area. This will help with the swelling as well as numb the area from the pain for a while. You can do this for about 15 minutes and then remove the ice; letting your mouth rest for another 15 minutes and then repeating the entire process.
If you cannot get the pain under control with any of the above methods, ibuprofen might be in order to help bring the swelling down and decrease the pain. If you have any underlying medical conditions or are unsure about the safety of taking ibuprofen for yourself, talk to your doctor before taking it.
If none of these remedies work and the pain is unbearable, you might need to be seen on an emergency basis. As always, call our office to let us know what is going on so that we can direct you to the proper solution. Going to the emergency room is usually a waste of time and can even be damaging to your health when you are dealing with a dental issue. The doctors at the emergency room do not have dental training, so they do not know how to handle your situation. At the very best they will be able to minimize your pain, but depending on why it is being caused, pain medication might not be the answer you are looking for. Before you head out to the ER because of the extreme pain that you are in, call our office so that we can determine what the best step for you to take may be.
If you are ever worried about your teeth and wonder if you are having a dental emergency, please call our office right away!