What to Do for a Toothache? Make a Dentist Appointment!

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
What to Do for a Toothache? Make a Dentist Appointment!

Have you ever had a toothache?

The dull, insistent throbbing beats a painful tattoo into your head. You can’t focus. Your pain sharpens whenever you drink anything cold or hot. As the days pass, you begin basing your diet around room temperature milk and applesauce. And all the while you’re asking yourself, “What to do for this toothache?!

Woman feels tooth pain when she holds her mouth open, a sign she needs to make a dentist appointment for toothache relief.

Your best option doesn’t involve putting a small amount of vanilla extract on the tooth.

It doesn’t even involve taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Some home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines may temporarily ease tooth pain. But the best thing to do for a toothache is to make a dentist appointment.

We at Penn Dental Medicine (PDM) know that not everyone in the Philadelphia, PA, region—or anywhere else—relishes the idea of scheduling a dentist appointment. Anywhere between 50% and 80% of adults in the U.S. have some degree of dental anxiety. But only professional dentists know what to do for a toothache so you get effective, lasting relief.

When Should You See a Dentist for a Toothache?

More than 40% of adults in the U.S. say they’ve felt pain in their mouth sometime during the last year. Not all that pain may have been toothache pain. However, much if not most of it likely was, given how prevalent dental caries (tooth decay) is in the nation.

Man reclining in dental office chair points to place of tooth pain as dentist inspects his teeth.

Ninety-two percent of U.S. adults aged 20-64 have had dental caries in their permanent teeth. Even so, among adults who have complained of tooth pain, more than 20% don’t regularly go to a dental office, and 9% to 15% avoid dentist appointments altogether.

At PDM, we’ve met patients who didn’t initially think a toothache was a dental emergency—even though, by definition, it is: an unexpected, serious situation requiring a quick response.

These patients may not have wanted to schedule a dentist appointment for several reasons:

  • They worry dental services may hurt worse than the toothache itself.
  • They worry a more serious dental issue may come to light during treatment, leading to even more possibly painful work, such as a root canal procedure.
  • They worry about repeating a bad experience they endured during a previous visit to a dental office.
  • They worry the dentist will shame them with a long, embarrassing lecture about taking better care of their teeth.
  • They worry how much time and money a dentist appointment may cost.

These patients may have turned first to home remedies for toothache relief. They may have tried rinsing with warm water and salt, using a peppermint tea bag as a cold compress, or the vanilla extract mentioned earlier. They may have taken pain medications like Tylenol and Advil.

But when their pain persisted and intensified, they admitted they didn’t know what to do for their toothache and made an appointment with us.

We’re always glad to see these patients at PDM. But their experience proves the answer to the question, “When should you see a dentist for a toothache?” is, “As soon as possible.”

Not all toothaches indicate more serious dental issues. For example, some result from a sinus infection. But don’t wait until tooth decay, gum disease, or another oral health issue reveals itself to be the culprit. Schedule a dentist appointment now if your tooth pain:

  • Feels severe.
  • Lasts for more than one or two days.
  • Causes swelling in your mouth or face.
  • Is accompanied by fever, earache, or pain when your mouth is wide open.

The earlier dentists can help patients in pain, the better patients’ dental and oral health outcomes are likely to be.

Trust the Toothache Dentists at PDM to Give You Relief

Any professional dentist knows how to fix a toothache. But when you make your appointment with Penn Dental Medicine, you can be confident you’ll get skilled, high-quality treatment for tooth pain that won’t cause pain to your budget.

Woman reclining in dental office chair smiles at dentist who has treated her to get rid of her toothache.

Our student dentists, closely supervised by some of the nation’s most experienced and respected practitioners, use advanced materials and the latest patient-centered techniques to get rid of your toothache with as little discomfort and pain as possible.

Should your treatment reveal other serious issues, our team can continue your care seamlessly because we bring the full range of dental specialties under our roof.

While we’ll encourage you, as we do all our patients, to adopt and maintain a healthy routine of daily brushing and flossing, we’re not here to judge you, but to care for you.

And because our prices, as a clinic of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, are significantly lower than most private practices’ fees, you’ll be able to get rid of your toothache without worrying about your wallet.

The next time you find yourself wondering, “What to do for this toothache?!,” know the best thing you can do is schedule an appointment with PDM.

Make your appointment online now, or call us at 215-898-8965.

Related Posts