Abingdon Dentist, Brown Dental Associates
What to Do About a Weekend Toothache

Although the weekend is only two days long, it might seem as though it's longer if you are experiencing a tooth problem. Here are some tips for coping with a dental emergency after hours or on the weekend.

Home Remedies:
While nothing can substitute for prompt dental care if you have a toothache, treating your discomfort at home can at least buy you some time. Over-the-counter analgesics like acetaminophen or ibuprofen are usually effective at dulling tooth pain so you can function and get some sleep.

While you should avoid oral anesthetic gels, because they can irritate your gums, you can try slipping a whole clove in the side of your cheek next to the aching tooth. Clove oil can naturally encourage the nerve to settle down. You can also apply an ice pack to the outside of your face or try running hot water over the area in the shower. Finally, swishing with warm salt water can temporarily relieve tooth pain.

A Lost Filling:
If you lose or crack a dental filling, it's important to baby the tooth until you can get it fixed. Once a filling is dislodged, the rest of the tooth becomes more prone to breaking. So be careful to chew on the opposite side of your mouth. Also, brush and swish with mouthwash or salt water to keep the area clean.

Visit your pharmacy to find a temporary dental filling material that you can apply yourself to tide you over for a few days. Don't place a temporary filling and then forget about it, it's vital to get into the office when it opens again, as these materials are not meant to stand up for the long haul.

In case of severe pain or major swelling:
Most of the time, dental problems are annoying and painful, but not particularly dangerous. An abscess or other dental infection is the exception to that rule! If you have a swollen jaw or are having excruciating pain, suspect an abscess, GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. The most important thing at this point is to get on an antibiotic as soon as possible, even if you have to wait a day or two to see your dentist.

Of course, good routine care can help avoid some of the pitfalls that could lead to a dental emergency in the first place. If you are overdue for a cleaning or know that you need to have a tooth fixed, give us a call to schedule an appointment 276-628-9507.