Did you know that an estimated 1 in 5 people has experienced sudden or unexpected dental pain in the last 6 months? Unfortunately, while regular checkups and good oral hygiene can usually prevent a dental emergency in Scarborough, it can’t prevent them all. And since you can’t always make it to a dentist right away, it’s worthwhile to learn about some over-the-counter options for pain relief until you can be seen. Although these store-bought remedies are only intended as temporary solutions, you’ll get some great ideas to manage several common emergencies below!
Over-the-Counter Pain Relief For Dental Emergencies
When you experience sudden dental pain or an injury, the first thing you should do is call a dentist. In addition to scheduling the first available appointment, you’ll also get advice for handling your emergency until you can be seen.
Having said that, here are several options that are available from most grocery or drugstores to manage any discomfort until your appointment:
- Over-the-counter pain medication – NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and aspirin, among others.
- Dental wax – If you’ve chipped or broken something, dental wax from the store is a great way to cover any sharp edges to avoid irritating your tongue, lips, or cheeks.
- Saltwater – Put about a ¼ teaspoon of salt into a glass of lukewarm water and dissolve, then swish and spit every few hours. It’s a safe, effective, and gentle way to soothe irritations or minor cuts and promote healing.
- Floss – In some cases, there’s simply something stuck under the gumline or in between the teeth that’s creating pressure or pain. Flossing the area may not always do the trick, but it’s certainly worth a try.
- Pain-relieving gel – These topical gels contain ingredients like benzocaine, a numbing agent that temporarily relieves pain from toothaches, canker sores, or minor injuries to the lips, cheeks, tongue, throat, or gums.
The Importance of Seeing a Dentist ASAP
It’s very important to remember that, even if your pain goes away, you still need treatment from a dentist in Scarborough as soon as possible. Some emergencies such as toothaches can actually be life-threatening in rare cases if left untreated.
Also, there are some situations in which you should get medical treatment from the ER or an urgent care center before seeing a dentist (e.g. a broken jaw or bleeding that doesn’t subside after applying pressure for 15 minutes).
You can’t always see a dentist for emergency care right away, but with these tips, you can at least manage your pain until your visit.
About the Author
Dr. Needhi Shah is a family dentist in Scarborough and a graduate of the UCLA School of Dentistry in California. With over a decade of experience, she’s provided treatment for every kind of dental emergency and is always just a phone call away. If you’re having an emergency or have any questions, she can be reached via her website.