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Managing Dental Pain

MedicineManaging dental pain can be difficult. When you experience pain along the jaw or around your teeth, it can be very hard to tolerate the discomfort because it is, quite literally, "in your face" at all times. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to reduce the pain, depending upon the source of the pain.

Any time you experience dental pain, be sure to contact your dentist and let him know how long you've been in pain, what has triggered the pain, and whether you've damaged a tooth. He or she will want to schedule an appointment for you to be examined to determine the cause of the pain and a course of action to correct it.

Managing Dental Pain Before A Dental Appointment

Of course, when you're suffering from a toothache, managing dental pain while waiting to see your dentist may seem unbearable. Be sure to let your dentist know just how severe the pain is; if you have an exposed nerve, an abscess or some other extremely painful condition, you may be able to get an emergency appointment with your dentist right away. Contrary to popular belief, dentists are compassionate and do NOT want their patients to experience pain, unnecessarily or at all!

In the meantime, there are several methods of managing dental pain that will give you short-term relief. For self-management of dental pain you can:

• Use ice packs on the affected area to reduce any swelling and ease the pain. The ice will help in managing dental pain because it will partially numb the area.

• Avoid eating foods that will aggravate the pain. Sometimes managing dental pain is more about what don't put in your mouth than what you do. Don't chew gum, eat hard candy, or bite into nuts; any of these could put pressure on the sore area, aggravating the pain.

• When managing dental pain, try not to sleep on your stomach, as this can put pressure on the jaw line, radiating pain to the teeth and surrounding tissues.

• Taking analgesics such as aspirin or ibuprofen can also be effective in managing dental pain. Don't go over the recommended dosing amounts.

How Your Dentist Can Help You Manage Dental Pain

If you're experiencing pain from an abscess, cavity, or damaged tooth, your dentist will have to do some kind of procedure to correct the problem. This may involve some pain during the procedure, but with recent advancements, not even a root canal is the painful process it was years ago. Your dentist will choose from several options when treating the problem:

• Your dentist may offer you prescription strength versions of aspirin or ibuprofen if your pain is severe. Other prescription medications such as codeine to take for a few days.

• Managing dental pain during procedures is very important; your dentist will choose the best option for you. Often, a localized anesthetic such as Novocain will be used. This numbs the area for a few hours, giving him plenty of time to work on your teeth without pain.

• For the most serious procedures or any that will require a great deal of time, sedatives are often used. Conscious sedation puts you into a very relaxed state where you feel no pain, but will be awake and groggy. General sedation or deep sedation may be used if you suffer from severe dental anxiety or are getting a particularly lengthy and complex procedure done.

You should always take a strong stand on managing dental pain; there's no reason to suffer when just a few simple steps can bring you relief.

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