Relieving Toothaches on the Fly
By Mina Levi, DDS, 02/05/2015

Vacation Dental Pain San FranciscoIn honor of National Toothache Day coming up on February 9th, we wanted to talk about toothaches and that pang of fear that we feel if we start to get a toothache when we are on vacation or somewhere where we cannot see our Dentist. In this article, Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS discusses toothaches, possible causes, and how to potentially relieve some pain if you are in a bind to hold you over until you can visit your San Francisco Dentist.

What is a toothache?
This may sound like a silly question; a toothache is a pain in your tooth, right? Yes, however, there are many different types of toothaches that mean different things. For example, a constant, throbbing pain that wakes you up from your sleep may be a nerve issue/infection and you may need a root canal. A pain when you bite down on food may be an issue with the occlusion or the contacts between your teeth and can be easily fixed with a slight adjustment. No matter what the pain is or how intense it is, it is important to never ignore the toothache or brush it off. Something that could have been fixed in 5 minutes could turn into something that needs a root canal or needs the tooth to be extracted if it is not attended to in a timely manner.

Possible causes of toothaches?
As mentioned above, there are many reasons why a person would be having pain in their tooth or jaw area. Causes include infection, trauma, dental cavities, and occlusion issues.

How to relieve toothache pain when getting to a dentist is not an option:
As a disclaimer, Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS wants patients to know that every person’s anatomy and experience are different. Tips that can work for one person may not work for the next person. These are just tips that can maybe give the patient some relief before having the tooth checked out. We always suggest seeing a dentist as soon as possible when you are having tooth pain.

1. Aspirin. Taking aspirin at the recommended dosage throughout the day will help relieve some of the pain symptoms you may be having, but will not treat the cause.
2. Anbesol. Anbesol is a liquid pain reliever that can be applied directly to the teeth/gums to numb the area.
3. Avoid hot and cold drinks. Sometimes tooth pain comes from a wearing down of the enamel that exposes the dentin underneath. By avoiding hot and cold drinks, you will not be putting any extra stress on that area and it will stay relatively calm until it can be sealed.
4. Oil pulling. Although not scientifically proven, oil pulling has been seen to have some pain relieving effects. See our article about oil pulling here.

In an emergency – always see a dentist! Even if it is in another country, if you need treatment, get the treatment. Just make sure that they are up to date on health codes and wear protective gloves. If you have any questions about having a toothache on vacation or if you are planning a trip and need an opinion on some dull tooth pain you are having now, visit Mina Levi, DDS on the web at or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.