Dental Pain Management

Written by Pliro
Jun 11, 2018 Last updated: Dec 5, 2018

Causes of dental pain

Dental pain is also known as toothache or tooth pain. The pain is originated by irritation of the tooth root’s nerve, which can happen due to infection, injury, decay, extraction, etc. Bacterial infection is also a very common cause of pain.

Basically, any event that may damage the nerve either directly or indirectly can cause toothache. Naturally some cases are more severe than others, however, this is the basic mechanism they all follow and as the inflamed area increases, so will the pain.

In some severe cases, the pain will start radiating into other nearby areas like the cheeks or bone (jaw). When the damage is located at the tooth’s nerve the condition is known as pulpits and can be a leading reason for one to visit a dentist.

Some symptoms include: pain with chewing, sensitivity to hot or cold, bleeding (gums) and oral swelling (localized or not).

What can be done in emergency?

What constitutes a dental emergency? Well, usually it involves sudden and intense pain that can be a sign of a severe dental problem.

Many things may happen. Your face may start to swell up, which can be a sign of local infection, a tooth may fall off or break, your mouth may start to bleed due to a tooth or gum abscess, etc.

In less severe cases, some home remedies can be really useful against the pain, like:

  • Gargling with hot salty water.
  • Applying a cold compress on the side of your face were the pain is.
  • Gargle and spit hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).
  • Applying some kind of alcoholic drink to the affected area using a cotton ball.
  • Applying apple cyder vinegar to the affected area using a cotton ball.
  • Peppermint tea.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Almond extract.
  • Lemon extract.
  • Sunflower, sesame, oregano, nutmeg, clove or tea tree oil.
  • Chewing ginger or plantain leaves.

None of these methods can replace professional care, in fact, if you decide to only treat the pain using these methods for a long period of time, the underlying problem may continue making the pain and damage worse. These are only temporary options to professional pain management.

When to visit a dentist

Any sign of infection must be attended by a professional as soon as possible, especially if swelling is present.

Obviously, any physical damage must be attended by a professional. Dental emergencies in general are not as severe as other medical emergencies, however, infections can rapidly become dangerous. If there’s one reason to rush to the dentist this is it.

Other reasons to visit the dentist as soon as possible include:

  • The pain is not relieved by over-the-counter drugs.
  • Pain shortly after (few days) an extraction.
  • You can’t open your mouth, you feel pain.
  • Wisdom teeth-associated pain.