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SEVERE TOOTH PAIN

Any injury to the gums or teeth can be very painful. In some cases, however, the cause of severe dental pain is not obvious. For example, pain that comes on suddenly may be caused by particles of food that got lodged in a cavity and have started to irritate the nerve inside the tooth. If you lose a filling or a crown, the nerve inside the tooth may be exposed, and you may feel severe pain when air or hot or cold substances touch the uncovered part of the tooth.

Pain that becomes more severe over a period of time is commonly caused by debris lodged under the gum. Popcorn is a common offender. Because the hard cellulose fibers of the popcorn kernel don't break down, it can remain stuck between your gum and your tooth. The longer a food particle stays trapped between the gum and tooth, the greater the chance the gum will become irritated and infected and the pain will get worse. If you develop an infection, called an abscess, it can become a serious health problem if left untreated.

Pain when you bite or chew, especially if it is accompanied by a foul odour and a bad taste, can be a sign of an abscess that needs immediate treatment.


What You Can Do

First, call ALL DAY ALL NIGHT DENTIST and make an appointment.
In the meantime, here are a few steps you can take at home to try to relieve some of the pain:


- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Neurofen) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). However, be aware that you need to see your dentist. If you mask the pain with a painkiller and ignore it, the infection can spread and could become life threatening.

- Rinse your mouth with warm water every hour or as needed to ease the pain.

- If the pain is caused by debris lodged in a cavity, washing the area may relieve the problem.

- Floss your teeth, and then run a toothpick around the gum line. This may remove debris that's lodged under the gum.

- If you've lost a filling or crown, dip a cotton swab in clove oil and apply it to the exposed part of the tooth. Clove oil, available in pharmacies and supermarkets, works well to relieve tooth pain. You also can use a topical anaesthetic, such as Anbesol, also available in pharmacies and supermarkets.

- Putting an ice pack on your face over the area that hurts also may relieve the pain. Apply the ice for 10 to 20 minutes of every hour, as necessary.

- If you will be travelling in an airplane, the change in pressure when the plane takes off or lands may make you feel more uncomfortable. You should get dental treatment before travelling by air.

What Our Dentist will do:

Even when dental problems cause a lot of pain, the problems and the treatments often are relatively simple if you seek help right away.

If you have a cavity, your dentist will clean out any debris, remove the decayed part of the tooth, and place a filling. Once the inner part of the tooth is protected, the pain will usually disappear immediately.

If your problem is related to debris under your gums, your dentist will use special instruments to remove the debris. If you have an infection, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics and pain medicine. If an antibiotic is prescribed, it is important that you take it as directed until you have finished all the medication.

An abscess in the tooth or gum may require more extensive treatment, such as drainage of the abscess, root canal treatment or tooth extraction.

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LOST FILLING OR CROWN

Fillings, which are materials used to fill cavities in the teeth, and crowns, which slip over and cover the tops of damaged teeth, sometimes loosen and fall out. This is rarely an emergency, but it can be painful because the exposed tooth tissue is often sensitive to pressure, air or hot and cold temperatures. In some cases, a filling or crown may come loose because decay has developed underneath it. The decay can cause the tooth to change shape and as a result, the crown of filling no longer fits the tooth properly.

What You Can Do

You may be eating, or biting on something hard when you discover that a filling or a crown has become lose or fallen out. You may feel the lost filling or crown in your mouth.

If it's a crown, put it in a safe place and make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you can. You don't want to wait too long because the tooth will be weak and could be damaged more if it is not protected by the crown. Also, when a crown is missing for a long time, your teeth may move. If this happens your crown may no longer fit.

If the tooth is sensitive and you can't get to your dentist right away, here's what you can do:


- If you can reach the sensitive area, apply a little clove oil with a cotton swab. It works well to dull tooth pain. You can buy clove oil in pharmacies and also in the spice aisle of many supermarkets.

- If you have the crown, you may be able to slip it back over the tooth. Before you do that, it's important to clean the inside of the crown as best you can. To hold it in place temporarily, coat the inner surface of the crown with tooth "cement," which you can buy in the dental section of your pharmacy. There are several temporary cements available. Some need to be mixed; others come ready to use. You also can use denture adhesive or even petroleum jelly if nothing else is available. These aren't permanent solutions, but they will help to hold the crown in place until you can see your dentist. You should not use any household glues to hold the crown in place. These products are not safe to put in your mouth and can damage the tooth and crown.

- If you've lost the filling or crown, you can use over-the-counter dental cement to cover the tooth surface. This will help to protect and seal the area until you're able to see your dentist, and can make you more comfortable.

What Our Dentist Will Do

If the tooth is structurally sound and the crown still fits properly, your dentist will clean the area and then replace the crown.
If the tooth has been affected by decay, your dentist will need to prepare the tooth again by removing the decay and then making a new filling or crown to replace the old one.

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