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What is the Best Painkiller for Toothaches?

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Woman in pain because of toothache holding medicine in other hand

A toothache can be excruciating — the pain can be long-lasting and persistent if not treated properly and promptly. At Shawnessy Dental, our team is well equipped to address any issues relating to tooth pain and can recommend an appropriate and effective treatment solution to you during a visit to our office. If you want to find relief from tooth pain, please contact us and schedule an appointment with one of our dentists.

What is a Toothache?

Toothaches occur when the nerve root of a tooth is irritated. Tooth decay, injury, infection, or loss of a tooth are the most common causes of tooth pain.  If you are experiencing a toothache, you should contact Shawnessy Dental and try to thoroughly explain your symptoms — this helps our dentists more accurately determine the cause of your pain and find the best relief strategy for your needs. It is important to get your teeth checked by a professional before trying any home remedies.

Most toothaches can be soothed by using over-the-counter medication, but be careful to not place the pills directly on the sore area. Using an ice pack on the area with the toothache may also help relieve some of your symptoms. You should never apply heat to your face or jaw when you have a toothache — heat is more likely to cause you harm than help you find relief when considering toothaches.

What Causes Toothaches?

The most common cause of toothaches is tooth decay. Other reasons for toothaches include:

  • A Tooth abscess — This is an infection of or around a tooth. A red, swollen, and painful bump can sometimes be found near a sore, abscessed tooth. This tooth also may hurt quite badly when you bite down.
  • An Impacted tooth — This is a tooth that has not broken through your gum line. An impacted tooth may cause your gums to be red, swollen, and sore. The area around this tooth can feel painful.
  • Any problems with the nerves in the center of the tooth (pulp). Issues with pulp can be caused by an injury to the face or from grinding your teeth.

Sometimes a toothache can is caused by health problems that can become related to your mouth and jaw, such as:

  • A heart attack
  • A cluster headache
  • A sinus infection
  • Viral infections (such as shingles)
  • Diseases such as diabetes
  • Nerve-related diseases (such as trigeminal neuralgia)
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Vitamin deficiencies (such as too little vitamin B12)

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Cracked tooth syndrome (CTS) is a condition that refers to an incomplete fracture of a vital posterior tooth that can sometimes extend into the pulp. This condition can be the cause of a toothache. Diagnosis of CTS is difficult due to a lack of awareness of the condition. 

A common symptom of CTS includes discomfort or pain from a tooth while chewing hard foods, with the uncomfortable sensation ceasing after pressure is withdrawn. Patients are often unable to identify the offending tooth or area involved in causing CTS. If you believe your toothache is being caused by CTS, please visit our office as soon as possible.

How Toothaches are Treated

The best way to avoid toothaches is to schedule regular checkups at Shawnessy Dental. Most dentists recommend getting an examination and cleaning 2 times a year. Some experts believe that those who are at low risk for dental problems need only a yearly examination.

If you are already being affected by a toothache, please contact us and give the details of your current symptoms. Our friendly staff will be able to schedule an appointment for you and our knowledgeable dentists will address your tooth pain in person at our office. This way, you will receive the best advice on how to treat your current tooth pain as well as protect yourself from developing toothaches in the future.

Using Painkillers For Toothaches

To find short-term relief from a toothache, you can apply an over-the-counter benzocaine gel to your tooth. It is important to ensure that you are being safe with medicine and follow all instructions on the label. You can also try other non-prescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:

  • Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin
  • Naproxen, such as Aleve
Women suffering from tooth ache and touching face

Safety Tips For Treating Toothaches

If you decide to use non-prescription medicine to help treat the pain caused by a toothache, make sure you keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Carefully read and follow all instructions and guidelines on the medicine bottle and/or box.
  • Do not take more than the recommended dose.
  • Do not take any medicine you have had an allergic reaction to in the past.
  • If you have been told to avoid a medicine in the past by a doctor, contact Shawnessy Dental before you take it.
  • If you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, do not take any medicine other than acetaminophen unless your doctor has specifically told you to.

Find Relief From Toothaches at Shawnessy Dental

If you are currently experiencing tooth pain, please contact Shawnessy Dental as soon as possible — our expert dentists are equipped with the knowledge and methodology to effectively treat toothaches and prevent further tooth pain from occurring.

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