We are going to run a series of posts giving patients helpful tips on common dental emergencies and how to deal with them until you can see your dentist. It is important that you see your dentist even if symptoms resolve because the lack of pain or discomfort does not mean lack of disease- and the pain can return with a vengeance! For our first post we’re going to deal with one of the most common problems that all of us have experienced at one point- Toothache
Causes of Toothache: Most common causes of toothaches are decay (cavities), trauma, or old restorations/fillings that are close to the pulp or nerve of the tooth.
Diagnosis: The dentist will perform a visual exam, take x-ray radiographs, and check the vitality of the tooth (see if the nerve of the tooth is still ‘alive’)
Home Remedy: Do not apply aspirin directly on tooth or gums. Do the opposite of what triggers the pain- for example if cold makes the tooth hurt, stick with lukewarm foods and if heat makes the pain worse then sip on cold water. An anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) such as OTC ibuprofen such as Advil is recommended to control pain. If you can not take NSAID then acetaminophen (Tylenol) would be the secondary choice.
Treatment: Depending on the diagnosis, treatment for your toothache can range from a simple filling to root canal therapy or tooth extraction. In general if the pain becomes spontaneous and lingering in nature the nerve of the tooth is often severely damaged and more extensive treatments are required. Your dentist at Metro Dental Care will discuss all your options before proceeding with treatment.
Our Calgary Dentists at Metro Dental Care are available most evenings and Saturdays if you happen to get a toothache at an inopportune time.