When a toothache strikes, it is enough to ruin your entire day. Perhaps you’re able to mentally put it off for a few hours, but then you bite into your lunch, and a surge of lightning-like pain shoots through your mouth and back behind your eyes. Other times the pain might be a bit more subtle, but it’s always present, reminding you that something is wrong.
Whatever kind of tooth pain you’re dealing with, it’s obvious you need to take care of the situation. But what to do for a toothache? Here is a game plan to follow should you ever find yourself dealing with a toothache.
Schedule An Appointment With Your Dentist Right Away
Your teeth don’t suddenly start to hurt out of the blue unless there is something wrong. Sure, you might have some topical pain that happens when going from hot to cold food. That is natural, and it is the nerves in your teeth telling you this, but chances are you’ve experienced this kind of instant nerve pain in the past.
With tooth pain that comes out of nowhere and lingers, it is an entirely different issue. You need to do something to take care of it. This means contacting your general practice dentist and scheduling an appointment right away.
Some people will tell you to wait 24 hours before contacting your dentist. However, some pain issues might come and go over a short period of time. So if you’d like to wait to schedule an appointment, that is up to you.
We generally believe if any kind of toothache lasts for more than a few hours, it likely means something else is going on. Now, keep in mind that certain other conditions, such as a sinus infection, might cause tooth discomfort. So if you think you have a sinus infection and the toothache started soon after, you may want to consult your doctor instead.
But, if there isn’t anything different in your life that might be the cause of a toothache, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment.
Make sure to talk to the receptionist and tell them what is going on. This isn’t something you can put off because not only is it painful and a distraction, but letting it linger might cause more problems later.
On the flip side, if the toothache is coming from a chipped or cracked tooth, or if you were struck in the mouth (or fell down and hit your jaw) and the pain came from that, you can contact our staff here at Southern Endodontic Specialists, as there is a good chance you’ll need a root canal due to killing off the nerve endings in your tooth.
What to Avoid
While waiting for your dental appointment, you should avoid eating anything hard, cold, or acidic. All of this can agitate any kind of cavity or gum situation that is going on. You might have lost your appetite, which, for now, isn’t the worst thing in the world. But if you do need to eat something, go with softer, room-temperature foods.
When Pain Strikes In The Evening
Toothaches don’t work on a set schedule. This pain can strike without a moment’s notice and leave you in instant agony. The thing is, sometimes you’re not able to see the dentist right away. If that is the case, what should you do to ease your pain at night when visiting the dentist simply isn’t an option?
First, you should be able to take some over-the-counter pain medication. This will, at the very least, help subdue the pain and make it a little easier to sleep. Some topical numbing creams include the active ingredient benzocaine, which will help address the pain as well. This isn’t a fix for the problem, though. It’s something that will numb the pain a bit for the evening until you’re able to see the dentist.
When it is time to go to sleep, you will want to keep your head elevated. Prop it up on several pillows, or even go to sleep in your favorite recliner chair. However you decide to do it, you need to ensure your head is propped up above the rest of your body. When blood rushes to your head, it can increase the amount of pain you feel from the toothache.
You may also want to pack the classic ice pack and hold it to the side of your mouth where the tooth pain is coming from. This can help numb the area of your mouth and help you sleep a bit better during the night.
Schedule a Consultation at Southern Endodontic Specialists
For any kind of general dental care, we always recommend going to see your general dentist. They cover most of the day-to-day dental situations that you run into, and you may be dealing with not only a cavity but possibly some gum issues as well.
However, if you are told you need to have a root canal performed, or if the toothache is due to sustained trauma to your tooth, such as if it is split or cracked, then you need to come to visit us immediately. The sooner you have your toothache addressed, the better off you will be. So, whether you have questions or you already know what is going on and you need an endodontist, give our customer service staff here at Southern Endodontic Specialists a call as soon as possible. We will do everything in our power to schedule you for the next available time slot.