How To Handle After-Hours Dental Pain

Dental pain is never fun, but it can be even worse if you have to wait for relief. This is sometimes the case when pain strikes in the evening, on a holiday, or over the weekend when a dentist visit isn't possible. The following tips can help you manage your dental woes until you can get in to see your dentist.

Lost filling or crown? Get a temp!

A lost filling or crown is probably one of the most common causes for tooth pain that comes on suddenly. There are actually two ways to deal with this. If you still have the crown, there are dental adhesives you can use to temporarily affix the crown back in place. Just be careful to avoid chewing on that side of your mouth, as the bond isn't super strong.

Another option is to get dental wax at the pharmacy. Soften it by rolling it between your fingers and then smooth it over the opening where a crown or filling should be. This will keep food debris, saliva, and air out of the hole, which will prevent pain until you get in to the dentist. You can also use wax to smooth over other tooth damage, such as a chipped or cracked tooth, until you can get in.

Relieve the pain!

There's no reason to suffer. Over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen can help relieve minor tooth pain. If you suspect an abscess or are having gum pain, topical toothache gels, similar to a baby teething gel, can also help. Placing an ice pack against your cheek may also help ease the pain, plus it can relieve minor swelling. Whatever you do, don't try to pop an obvious abscess.

If the pain is too severe for over-the-counter remedies, or if there is severe swelling, then you may have a major infection. Even if there are no dental options, a visit to urgent care or an emergency room may be in order. They can at least check for infection and provide an antibiotic to prevent the infection from spreading and getting worse. In some cases, your doctor or dentist may be willing to write the prescription over the phone when pain strikes after hours and the cause is obvious. Then, make sure you get into a dentist as soon as possible to have the cause of the infection addressed.

For more help, contact a dental office in your area or check out websites like