Experiencing Tooth Pain?
If you’ve landed on this page because you’re suffering from dental pain and are in the St Louis area, we’re available for emergency dentistry or oral surgery Monday through Thursday and one Friday and one Saturday a month. Call our office at (314) 576-3000 and we’ll get you in the same day, if we’re open.
What Causes Tooth Pain and What Does Tooth Pain Indicate?
Just like your car dashboard has indicators that let you know when something is wrong or if maintenance is needed, tooth pain is an indication to your body that something is wrong. It could be something that’s easily resolved with proper hygiene and time. Or the pain could be caused by sensitivity to the nerve of the tooth.
Pain can be due to decay, injury to the tooth, and infection. You could also be suffering from gum disease, tooth fractures, or even sinus infections that can also cause some pain. If it’s tolerable, you can try some of the remedies below, but if a few days pass and it’s the same or worse, it would be wise to see a dental professional who can discover the source of the pain and treat the condition.
Tooth pain can cause sensitivity when eating or drinking, make it difficult to sleep, concentrate or work. It can be accompanied by swollen
gums, and, in the case of infection, can lead to tooth loss and serious illness. The jaw and area surrounding the tooth may be painful. It’s
possible for infection to spread to other areas around the tooth, so if it doesn’t go away in short order, you’ll want to see a dentist to make sure it’s not infected. Waiting too long can often escalate the problem, resulting in more involved and costly treatment.
Rinse With Warm Salt Water
A warm salt water rinse can often sooth an aching tooth and cleanse an infected area, as salt helps to draw out excess fluid around swollen
gums. Mix a few teaspoons of table salt in warm water and gently swish the mixture in your mouth. Avoid hot or cold water, as it can shock the painful area and add to your discomfort.
Apply Ice to Stop Inflammation
Cold helps to curb pain and swelling in superficial nerves, so applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the face may help numb the pain.
Don’t apply ice directly to the tooth, however, and avoid very cold drinks as these may cause pain if the root is infected. Hot drinks and
sugary foods can also exacerbate tooth pain.
Apply Oil of Cloves or Ambesol
Oil of cloves is an essential oil found in health food stores that can help soothe tooth pain. Apply a few drops to a cotton swab, then apply to the affected tooth. Ambesol, or any over-the- counter topical benzocaine, also reduces or eliminates tooth pain, but only use this as directed and
only temporarily until you can get seen by a dentist. The underlying situation could get worse if not treated.
Exercise May Help
If you exercise regularly, you might feel better after a workout as exercise releases endorphins which are nature’s pain relievers. Even just
a brisk walk may be helpful.
Mind and Body Relaxation
Pain tends to cause us to tense up, so if you’re able to put your mind and body into a relaxed state, you may find the pain ease up. With eyes
closed, focus on a pattern of three long inhales, followed by five exhales for at least ten minutes, guiding your attention back to the breath count when the mind goes to the pain or onto thoughts.
Over the Counter Pain Relievers
While these can tide you over until you can see a dentist, it’s not advisable to use them for too long, as they have side effects when used
Treating Tooth Pain
If the pain doesn’t go away in a few days with some of these remedies, or if it is seriously affecting your daily life, professional help is needed. Depending on the cause, the treatment for the pain will vary. Dr. Pete will go over all available options with you, so you receive the best care possible.