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Tooth pain

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Updated: 1/14/2003 1:29 pm Published: 1/14/2003 1:29 pm

Tooth pain is an aggravating condition that, depending on the cause, could require immediate attention by a dentist or medical doctor. There could be a variety of reasons for your pain. You may simply have a food particle stuck between your teeth and be able to remove it yourself, or you could also have a fractured tooth, a cavity, or an abscess. There can also be non-dental reasons for your pain such as sinusitis, a joint disorder, an ear infection, or an injury to your jaw or mouth. Dental treatment for tooth pain ranges from topical ointments to extraction or root canals. Upon experiencing pain the first step is to clean your mouth by rinsing it with warm water. Floss your teeth to ensure that food or foreign particles aren't lodged around the tooth; don't use any sharp instruments as you could cause gum damage. If you don't obtain relief, call your dentist. Most dentists have an answering service that will contact them in an emergency and advise them of your situation. If you don't hear from your dentist in a reasonable amount of time, you may want to contact your medical doctor. Even though it may seem that it's a dental emergency, don't be afraid to visit a hospital emergency room. Be prepared to answer questions pertaining to how long the tooth has hurt, what makes it hurt, and if you have taken anything for the pain. If you travel, carry your dentist's business card and your dental insurance information with you. Your dentist may be able to refer you to someone prior to traveling, or you may contact a local dental organization for help.

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