How to Handle a Toothache

How to Handle a Toothache Featured Image - Drake Family Dentistry

Your teeth may be small, but they’re capable of causing you a lot of toothache. If you’re currently suffering from a toothache, you’d probably do just about anything to get rid of it forever.

You’ll be in a position to do just that once you know these 5 things:

1. It might be a cavity… or not

A cavity is the most common reason for a tooth ache to start, but there are plenty of other things that can cause you to be in pain. Anything from an abscess, to an infection, to a crack or fracture, to a misaligned bite, to problems with your Temporomandibular Joint, to sinus issues can make your teethache.

2. There are some things you can do at home to temporarily relieve the pain

As soon as your tooth starts to ache, call your Kansas City dentist. If the pain is bad enough, your dentist may need to see you on an emergency basis. (Luckily, most of the good dentists in Kansas City have protocols in place for emergency patients!)

In the meantime, take an over-the-counter pain reliever if you need to. You can also pat the area with a cotton ball soaked in clove oil or apply an over-the-counter tooth gel made with Benzocaine. If the affected area is swollen, apply a cold compress for 10-20 minutes to temporarily reduce the swelling and pain.

Also, be sure to rinse out your mouth with some warm salt water. This will flush away any food particles that may be irritating your tooth. You can also gently floss to get rid of stubborn bits of food.

3. The pain won’t go away on its own

As much as these home remedies might help in the short-term, the only way to bid bon voyage to a tooth ache forever is to have it diagnosed and treated by an experienced Kansas City dentist. A good dentist has tools, techniques, and experience that you simply don’t have access to at home.

4. Treatment for your tooth ache might be simple… or no

In the case of a cavity, all your dentist has to do is fill it, and you’ll immediately start to feel better. If your toothache is being caused by an infection, you might only need some antibiotics to clear it up. Or if a small crack in your tooth is making it hurt, some simple bonding or a dental crown might be all you need to feel like new.

In more severe cases, a root canal might be required. You may even need your dentist to remove the tooth’s nerve during the root canal procedure. Or, if your tooth is in really bad shape, it may not be salvageable at all. Tooth extraction is always a last resort, but it may be the only thing that can stop the dire pain you’re in.

5. Maintain a relationship with your Kansas City dentist

Brushing and flossing can go a long way towards preventing future toothaches, but you also need to see your Overland Park dentist for regular checkups. That way, he can spot any issues before they have a chance to turn into big, painful toothaches.