Dental pain or a ‘toothache’ may present in several ways, none of which is pleasant. The type and nature of the pain you are experiencing is usually an indicator of what may be the underlying cause. Although a visit to the dentist may not be high up on your list of ‘most fun things to do’, seeing your dentist on a regular basis, once or twice a year, is essential. It is important see your dentist promptly if you experience any of the following:
- Severe tooth, gum or jaw pain;
- Red, swollen or bleeding gums;
- Persistent sensitivity to sweet, hot or cold foods or drinks that cannot be relieved by desensitising toothpaste;
- Gums that are receding from your teeth;
- Pus around your teeth and gums;
- Unexplained bad breath or bad taste in your mouth;
- Changes in the feel of your teeth or denture.
There are many different causes of dental pain such as decay, a fracture of a tooth or gum disease. Simple pain management, available from your local Advantage Pharmacy, may alleviate some of your pain and discomfort until you visit your dentist.
General Dental Pain Relief
Simple pain relievers may be used to reduce some of the pain that is associated with your toothache or dental pain. For mild to moderate pain, paracetamol (e.g. Advantage Paracetamol Tablets), with its anti-pain and anti-fever properties, may relieve some of your dental discomfort. Your Advantage Pharmacist may also be able to recommend you a stronger product which combines paracetamol and codeine. Alternatively anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen (Nurofen Zavance Tablets) can be taken when inflammation seems present or pain has not been controlled with paracetamol. Ask your Advantage Pharmacist if ibuprofen is suitable for you.
Providing Further Relief
Clove oil, such as Gold Cross Clove Oil, may be applied directly to a toothache to help relieve some pain and inflammation. Research suggests that the effect of clove oil is almost immediate, however it may only last for a short period of time.
Mouthwashes and rinses may be helpful in relieving minor mouth irritations. Products such as Colgate Plax Gentle Care or Biotene Mouthwash, are both non-alcohol based products which rarely cause any stinging or burning sensation and can be used on a daily basis. Alternatively, for further relief, alcohol containing products such as Difflam C Solution or Colgate Peroxyl, can be used to relieve discomfort associated with minor mouth irritations.
Relieving the Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is usually triggered by hot, cold or sweet food or beverages. Sensitivity may be alleviated with a desensitising toothpaste, such as Sensodyne Rapid Relief. Sensodyne Rapid Relief can be simply massaged onto your sensitive teeth for at least 60 seconds to achieve instant relief from the pain of sensitive teeth. Reducing sweet and acidic foods and drinks in your diet, such as soft drinks, may also help to reduce some of your symptoms.
Below is a list of self-care tips to help you prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- Brush your teeth, with a fluoride toothpaste, at least twice a day, in the morning and at bedtime.
- Floss between your teeth, just before brushing, everyday.
- Use a plaque reducing mouth wash, regularly.
- Drink plenty of tap water for its fluoride content.
- Limit how often you and your children have foods and drinks containing sugars and acids, for example soft drinks.
- Try to limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Do not smoke.
- Have your teeth checked regularly by your dentist.