Having a toothache is no fun, but it's even worse when its on the weekend when your dental office is closed. Tooth pain makes everything miserable, from eating and talking to simply trying to sleep at night. The following guide can help determine the best course of action so you can survive the pain until you can seek dental services.
Assess the cause
Knowing the cause of the toothache may enable you to lessen it or even stop it completely. You will need a mirror and flashlight to examine the tooth. An angled dentist's mirror may make this easier, but it isn't necessary. Look for obvious signs of damage, such as a cracked tooth or a missing filling or crown. These issues can generally wait until Monday for treatment. In some cases, you may not see any damage to the tooth itself. Instead, it may be the gums that red and inflamed. If this is the case, you have an infection either inside a tooth, in the gums, or possibly even in the bone. Infections can get worse and lead to more threatening health conditions, so call an emergency dentist or visit a weekend urgent care facility to begin treatment for the infection right away.
Perform any necessary temporary fixes
Tooth damage, like cracks and missing crowns, can be temporarily repaired. This may even eradicate most of the pain, since pain is likely caused by exposure of a nerve inside the tooth. Dental wax, available at any drug store, is a malleable wax that is placed over tooth damage as a temporary fix. Gently rinse any food particles away from the damaged tooth and cover the spot with a thin layer of the wax. Often, pain relief is almost immediate once the nerve is no longer exposed. Avoid chewing on that side of the mouth until you can get in to see a dentist on Monday.
Implement pain management
If the pain simply isn't going away, the appropriate dose of an over-the-counter pain medication can help. There are also toothache gels available for adults that can be rubbed on the sore spot to provide some relief. Clove oil, rubbed on the gums near the painful area, can also alleviate much of the pain. Avoid very hot or very cold foods, since this can make tooth pain worse. Stick to soft, easily chewed foods and avoid using the painful side of your mouth when eating.
Even if the pain seems to self-correct, it's important to contact a dentist in your area for further treatment.