Pain can occur in any number of places in your mouth: teeth, gums, roots, the palate, tongue, and jaw. Cavities are a common culprit causing pain. Untreated cavities can impact nerves because of infections of the tooth and gums. Impacted and abscessed teeth and sore jaws from teeth grinding are other common causes of pain.
Improper bite relationships and jaw disorders can also cause pain. Other sources of pain include sleep disorders, and headaches and neck aches.
Special splints can sometimes be applied to stabilize a bite. Bites can also be corrected with special orthodontic procedures, appliances and restoration techniques.
There are many methods for relieving oral pain. They include:
- Ice packs on the affected area.
- Avoiding hard candy or ice.
- Avoiding sleeping on your stomach.
Dentists use a wide array of pain management tools, including:
- Anesthetics such as Novocaine.
- Analgesics such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
- Sedatives, (links to ‘Sedation Dentistry’ area) including a procedure known as “conscious sedation” or general sedation (also known as “deep sedation”).
- Air Abrasion – A relatively new technique that uses powerful particles of aluminum oxide to remove debris and decay. The most exciting thing for patients is that air abrasion is painless and, in some cases, doesn’t require an anesthetic.
Some dental procedures, such as tooth extractions and oral surgery, may call for our office to prescribe medications before or after a procedure. These medications are used to prevent or fight an infection or to relieve any post-operative discomfort and pain.
For these reasons, it is extremely important that you share your entire medical history – including any medications you are currently taking – with our office. Some medications used in dentistry, and other medical practices – could interact with those medications in a detrimental way. In addition, if you have any allergic reactions to certain medications, it is important for our office to know beforehand.
Finally, if you are prescribed any medication by our office, follow the dosage instructions very carefully, and if instructed, finish your entire prescription even if you are no longer feeling pain.