As such, patients tend to seek dental care quickly when suffering from a toothache so that they can get relief.
The strategy used in treating a toothache will depend on the underlying cause of the problem. A toothache can have any number of causes. Your tooth may be affected by advanced decay or an internal infection or abscess that can cause pain. Impacted wisdom teeth are another potential cause for discomfort. An injury to the tooth may be at fault as well.
If you’re experiencing a toothache, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to be evaluated to determine a cause of the toothache. The results will then suggest the most appropriate intervention and possible referral to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
For instance, a toothache may indicate that a tooth is so severely damaged that you may be referred to an oral surgeon to have it extracted. Hopefully this can be avoided, but in some cases it is necessary to preserve the patient’s oral health and prevent further tooth loss or eradicate infection. If you must have a tooth extracted, ask the oral surgeon if you qualify for dental implants to replace the missing tooth.
If your dentist is not able to see you immediately, here are some tips that can help you to cope with any discomfort you may be experiencing as a result of your toothache.
- Manage pain with over-the-counter painkillers, which should be effective as a short-term solution. NSAIDs are best.
- Use an icepack to numb the area around the tooth. You may want to alternate the cold with a hot compress for additional relief.
- If the pain is along the gumline, an antiseptic gel or even a salt water rinse may help to eliminate some oral bacteria, which may be contributing to pain.
- Avoid consuming foods and beverages that are very hot or very cold.
- Pharmacies will have clove medicine, numbing agents, and temporary dental fillers to cover and treat an exposed tooth.
If these tactics are ineffective, the pain is unbearable, and no dentist is available, you may want to seek care at an Urgent Care Center for pain relief. You will still be referred to a specialist, like an oral surgeon, for follow-up care.
Don’t let a toothache drag you down. Seek dental care quickly to address the problem and use self-care techniques in the interim.