What Can You Do With A Toothache When Your Dentist Is Not Available?
What Sets Us Apart
The last thing anyone needs is for a toothache to ruin their Friday evening, Saturday or Sunday. Just about everyone works hard from Monday to Friday with the hopes of enjoying a fun-filled and relaxing weekend. Though the weekend lasts a mere 48 hours, it means a great deal to those of us who put in a traditional 40-hour workweek. The unfortunate truth is toothaches tend to be more common on weekends as people consume more food during these happy few days. Furthermore, more people participate in athletics on the weekend, making tooth pain stemming from injuries that much more likely. Here is a quick look at exactly how you should approach your weekend toothache.
TEMPORARY RELIEF FOR TOOTHACHES
Timely dental care is essential for toothaches. However, your dentist will likely be busy or closed on the weekend. You are not powerless if you experience a toothache on the weekend. Analgesics available over-the-counter such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are highly effective at minimizing tooth pain. Take one of these analgesics, and you will find it is that much easier to live everyday life and enjoy restful sleep until you can meet with the dentist.
Oral anesthetic gels have the potential to irritate the gums, yet there are numerous alternatives such as clove oil. This oil allows the nerve to settle down until the dentist can analyze your oral health situation and treat the tooth in question. Aside from clove oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and vanilla extract also help reduce oral pain. Just dip a cotton swab in one of these oils and apply it to the teeth and the gums.
TOOTHACHE ALTERNATIVES TO ANALGESICS AND OILS
If you do not have clove oil on-hand, do not give up. Head to your freezer, pull out an ice pack and press it to the outer part of your face. You can also run hot water over this portion of your mouth while showering. Plenty of people with toothaches have obtained relief by swishing salt water around in their mouth. Just make sure the salt water is warm, or at least room temperature as cold water has the potential to amplify the pain. Warm salt water soothes a toothache and disinfects the entirety of the mouth. In some cases, merely flossing the painful tooth in question helps as it dislodges particles trapped between the teeth and the gums.
HOW TO TREAT A TOOTHACHE STEMMING FROM A MISSING OR CRACKED FILLING
A lost or cracked dental filling is a significant problem that should be tended to as soon as the dentist is available. You can obtain temporary relief on the weekend by taking care of the tooth on your own. However, you should be aware of the fact that as soon as a filling moves, the remainder of the tooth will be susceptible to breaking. Do your best to chew on the side of the mouth opposite from that with the cracked or lost dental filling. It will also help to brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash or warm salt water to ensure the area is clean. You can also visit with the pharmacy to obtain a temporary dental filling you can apply on your own. This temporary filling will suffice until the dentist can analyze your toothache during the workweek.
Here are a few of the most common dental emergencies, with quick explanations of what you can do:
Are you experiencing moderate to severe swelling in your face, neck or mouth areas? This may be causing you to have difficulty swallowing or breathing. Your face will often appear inflamed and you might see red or purple bruising start to appear.
Chipped, Broken or Knocked Out Teeth
Chipped, fractured or knocked out teeth will often have jagged edges. Parts of the tooth might still be in your mouth, or the entire tooth and the root may have fallen out.
If your tooth has been fractured or chipped, try to find the missing tooth and bring it to your appointment. Remember to hold the tooth only by the crown (the part that's visible in your mouth, which you use to chew food).
After rinsing the tooth in only water (do not use soap or chemicals), avoid wrapping it in a towel or tissue as this can cause damage. Also, ensure you don't agitate or rub the tooth.
If you can, hold the tooth in the socket it fell out of. If this is not possible, try to preserve it and keep it moist by placing it in a glass of milk or container of your saliva. Your dentist might be able to reattach the tooth.
Lost Crown or Filling
Lost crowns or fillings may leave pieces in the mouth or you may have lost the entire restoration. Try to locate the crown or filling, and rinse it. Do your best to place it back on the tooth.
First call your dentist. Explain your symptoms and ask to be seen as soon as possible. Then ease the pain. Take an over-the-counter pain medicine that works for you, but do not put the pills on your sore tooth. Hold an ice pack against your face at the spot of the sore tooth.
Do not put a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or any other source of heat on your jaw. Heat will make things worse instead of better.
Chipped or broken tooth
Broken teeth can almost always be saved. Call your dentist and explain what happened. He or she will see you right away. If it's a small break, your dentist may use a white filling to fix the tooth. If the break is serious, a root canal may be needed. Your tooth may also need a crown (also called a cap).
Knocked out tooth
If the knocked-out tooth is an adult (or permanent) tooth, your dentist may be able to put it back. You must act quickly. If the tooth is put back in place within 10 minutes, it has a fair chance of taking root again. After 2 hours, the chances are poor.
If the tooth looks clean, put it back in its place (its socket). If this is not possible, or if there's a chance that the tooth might be swallowed, put it in a container of cold milk. Go to your dentist, or to the nearest dentist, right away. If you get help within ten minutes, there is a fair chance that the tooth will take root again.
Badly bitten lip or tongue
If there is bleeding, press down on the part of the mouth that is bleeding. Use a clean cloth to do this. If the lip is swollen, use an ice pack to keep the swelling down. If the bleeding does not stop, go to Emergency at a hospital right away.
Something stuck between teeth
First, try using dental floss, very gently and carefully, to remove the object. After flossing, roll it up in a tiny ball and put it in the garbage. Never flush floss down the toilet. Never poke between your teeth with a pin or similar sharp, pointy object; it can cut your gums or scratch the tooth surface. If you can't get the object out, see your dentist.
Put a piece of softened sugarless chewing gum in the spot where the filling was lost. This will protect the area for a short period of time. See a dentist as soon as possible.