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.