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Severe Tooth Pain? Here's What You Can Do


Registered on 2017. 09. 05


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 odor and a bad taste, can be a sign of an abscess that needs immediate treatment.


What You Can Do

First, call your 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, Motrin) 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, 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 anesthetic, 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 traveling 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 traveling by air.

What Our Ventura 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, our dentist in Ventura 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.

To learn more about severe tooth pain, please call our Ventura dentist office today!


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My experience has been great. Dr.Frank makes me feel comfortable, his staff is friendly and helpful. I needed a lot of dental work done and Dr. Frank was patient and nice to me. I plan to stay his patient for a very long time.

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I recommend Everyone to Dr. Esfandiari because his office is very welcoming and I always feel comfortable when I'm there. Last week I had an emergency pain and dr. Esfandiari made himself available to take care of me on a Sunday which was so nice of him.

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Dr. Esfandiari is a gem. His facilities are clean and his staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Dr. Esfandiari genuinely cares for his patients. He provides the best dental care I have ever recived. I had really bad decay on the front of my teeth, Dr. Esfandiari restored them and now im smiling again :)

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Dr. Esfandiari is a great dentist. He is very professional and knowledgeable. He is a super nice and treats everyone equally. His staff are friendly and make you feel at home.

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This dentist is amazing! I was so scared of the dentist that I hadn't been to one for over 8 years and he finally made me feel comfortable enough to get my teeth fixed. He was also great with my kids too and they love him.

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Dr. Frank was very kind, explained what he was doing and his office staff were very pleasant and seemed down to earth and engaging. I would definitely recommend giving Dr. Frank and his staff a shot at being your family dentist office.

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His staff is great. Nancy his dental assistant is awesome, super nice. Thank you for letting my sister come with me during visit, really did help me plus all the laughter. If you are in need of a great dentist, Dr Frank is it. He's honest, compassionate, understanding and very funny. Thank you again Dr Frank and Nancy :)

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