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Having a toothache can be cripplingly painful, but what can people do about it if they cannot get to the dentist straight away?
According to the Wall Street Journal, the likelihood is that the pain is caused by an infection.
It spoke to Dr Matthew Messina, a dentist and consumer advisor to the American Dental Association, who said the best thing to do in this instance is to take a pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol, anything that would normally be taken for a headache.
He notes that oral anesthetics such as Anbesol or clove oil may also help, but only if the tooth's nerve is exposed.
In addition, applying an ice pack to the face near the painful area can relieve swelling and numb the pain.
One thing that Dr Messina advises people not to do is apply a crushed aspirin to the tooth - a commonly used method of pain relief - as the acid in the tablet can burn the sensitive tissue.
When it comes to treating the problem, he suggests people always keep their dentist's card on them wherever they are. "As your dentist, if I know your history, we may be able to treat your problem long distance," he told the newspaper.
Ongoing toothache could also be a sign of decay or bruxism, the condition whereby a person grinds their teeth in the night.
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
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