Toothache Overview (cont.)

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Are home remedies effective for a toothache?

Generally, home remedies are only effective as a temporary measure to calm a toothache and are not intended to cure a toothache. Over-the-counter pain medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and are best taken on a schedule to provide pain relief. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is an alternative painkiller. In some cases, alternating doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen is effective.

Clove oil is a natural ingredient that is used in some sedative dental filling materials and can be found at the pharmacy. It can be applied to an exposed area of the tooth by biting into a small cotton ball that is soaked with clove oil. Other products which contain benzocaine (including Orajel or Anbesol) can temporarily numb the affected tooth or gums and provide relief as well.

One should avoid chewing on the affected tooth/area and minimize extreme temperatures of hot and cold. Keeping the area clean and free of food debris may help as well.

Above all, proper diagnosis and treatment by a dental professional is strongly advised to effectively treat a toothache.

How is a toothache treated during pregnancy?

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Dental treatment can be safely performed during pregnancy as long as a few guidelines are followed.

Generally, if dental work is required to treat a toothache, the recommended time for treatment is during the second trimester of pregnancy. However, if there is a risk of infection or severe pain, dental treatment may need to be performed at any point during a pregnancy. The obstetrician is consulted on what would be the safest option to avoid any possible complications during dental treatment.

If a dental X-ray is needed, a lead apron is always used to properly protect the patient and baby. For a pregnant patient, this is particularly important in protecting the unborn child.

Careful consideration should be made to ensure that any medications that are used are safe during pregnancy. This applies to local anesthetics administered during dental treatment and antibiotics (such as amoxicillin [Amoxil, Trimox, Moxatag, Larotid]) taken before or after treatment. Over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen are avoided as these are not considered safe during pregnancy. Acetaminophen is considered safe for pain management.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/23/2015

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