Delta Dental Plans Association has updated its Terms of Use and Privacy Statement. You can review them by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.

Ouch! My tooth!

Have a toothache and don’t know what to do? Read on for information on what you should do next.

 

Why Does My Tooth Hurt?

  • Tooth decay or a cavity – If it is bad enough, it can lead to a bacterial infection in the nerve of the tooth, which can cause an abscess.
  • Gum disease.
  • Teeth grinding.
  • Getting hit in the jaw or teeth while playing sports or other activities.
  • Sinus or ear infections.
  • Cracked tooth.

 

What can I do to ease my tooth pain?

  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication such as Advil or Tylenol.
  • Rinse with warm salt water.
  • Gently floss your teeth to see if any food might be trapped there.
  • Apply a cold compress to the outside of the cheek to reduce swelling, especially if an injury is causing your pain.

 

Should I call my dentist?

See your dentist if your toothache lasts longer than a day. Contact your dentist immediately if you experience fever, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or swelling around the tooth or your cheek. Pain only when you bite, could signal a cracked tooth. Your dentist may prescribe pain medication or antibiotics to provide some relief and aid the healing process.

 

 

“Dental Emergencies & Injuries.” American Dental Association. www.ada.org/370.aspx.

“Do You Have a Cracked Tooth?” American Dental Association. http://www.ada.org/sections/scienceAndResearch/pdfs/patient_25.pdf.

 “Ibuprofen.” Medline Plus, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682159.html#brand-names.

“Pain Medications - non-narcotic.” Medline Plus.” National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002123.htm.

“Tooth Abscess.” Medline Plus, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001060.htm.

“Toothaches.” Medline Plus, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003067.htm.