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Toothache (cont.)

Toothache Diagnosis

A medical history and physical exam will usually indicate the appropriate diagnosis. Sometimes X-rays called Panorex views (panoramic X-rays of the teeth and jaw) are taken. Occasionally, lab evaluation including ECG tracings of the heart will assist the doctor. If the cause is something other than a dental or jaw problem, the doctor may prescribe medications directed at the problem. If the condition is more severe, the doctor may admit the patient to the hospital for further care. The patient may be referred to a dentist for further treatment.

Home Remedies for Toothaches

  • For toothaches
    • Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) may be used. These should be taken as directed on the package and around the clock on a schedule while the patient arranges a dental appointment.
    • Avoid very cold or hot foods because this may make the pain worse.
    • A home remedy for pain relief is to bite on a cotton ball soaked in oil of cloves. Oil of cloves is available at most drugstores.
  • For jaw pain
    • Aspirin or ibuprofen may be helpful for problems in the joint of the jaw in adults.
    • Acetaminophen (not aspirin) should be used for children and teenagers.
    • If pain occurs every time the patient opens their mouth widely, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) may be the source of the pain. Yawning or taking a large bite of food may intensify the pain. An appointment with the doctor or dentist will help to determine the cause.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/10/2014

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