If you wake up with a dull, throbbing pain in your mouth, you are suffering from a toothache. While some toothaches go away as mysteriously as they arrived, the majority do not. In most cases, the pain is an indication that there is something seriously wrong with your teeth or gums.
The most important thing to do is to call our office and make an appointment to see the dentist. We will do our best to get you in as quickly as possible. We know how painful a toothache can be, and the sooner that you receive treatment, the sooner you will stop hurting.
However, in the interval between your phone call and your appointment, there are some things that you can do to give yourself some relief from the pain. Taking an over-the-counter painkiller such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help take the edge off the pain. Be sure not to exceed the recommended dosage on the bottle, however.
Applying an ice pack to the affected area can also help to soothe the pain. Others may find that heat actually is more helpful. Using a hot compress on the painful area can help you find some relief from your discomfort.
Gels containing benzocaine or a similar topical anesthetic are also available over the counter. Applying a small amount of this medication to the gum near the painful tooth can numb the area for some time. This is the same medication that we use in our office before we inject the novocaine.
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or diluted hydrogen peroxide may also help provide some temporary toothache relief. However, the most important thing to do when you have a toothache is to call our office right away so that we can examine you and provide a permanent solution.