All Posts tagged pain relief

Conquer Toothaches Once and For All

A man holding his mouth in pain.

There is nothing worse than feeling the pain of a toothache creep into your mouth. In honor of National Toothache Day (February 9th), let us delve into toothache symptoms, what it could mean, and some things you can do to help with pain, as well as prevent toothaches from happening.


Since a toothache is a common problem, it comes with a lot of symptoms too. Some of these include:

  • Throbbing pain
  • Sharp pain
  • Pain when pressure is applied
  • Pain when exposed to hot or cold temperatures


If any of these symptoms last longer than 1-2 days, it’s time to see your dentist for further examination.


Unfortunately, it can be hard to pinpoint what’s causing your toothache since so many issues can cause them.

Tooth Decay and cavities are very common. When you eat foods, especially ones that have a lot of sugar, you’re feeding the bacteria in your mouth. As the bacteria eat, they produce acid, which damages tooth enamel. Typically, you won’t feel pain until the acid eats past your enamel and reaches the nerves underneath. If you are to the point where you feel pain, you will most likely need a filling, crown, or root canal (depending on the amount of damage).

How to Prevent Cavities

  • Avoid sugary foods. One of the best solutions is to not give the bacteria what they want. Avoiding foods that are sugary or made of simple carbohydrates will give them less fuel to create the acid that damages your teeth.
  • Use products that have fluoride. Most toothpastes already contain fluoride, and you can top off your dental hygiene routine by rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash. Fluoride can even help rebuild lost enamel caused by tooth decay.
  • Brush and floss daily. This prevents plaque from turning into tartar, which causes tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis). Additionally, visit your dentist to keep up with your routine teeth cleanings.


Bruxism/Teeth Grinding:

Bruxism (clenching or grinding your teeth) can damage your teeth. You might be experiencing bruxism if you have sore teeth; a sore or swollen jaw; significant tooth wear; or find yourself clenching your teeth without having been aware of doing so. If you have these symptoms, there a few things you can to do help prevent this from continuing.

  • Get fitted with a night guard. Your dentist can diagnose that you grind your teeth while you sleep, and prescribe the proper type of mouth protection to prevent pain and damage to your teeth.
  • Adjust your bite. Your bite may be causing only certain teeth to touch, putting more strain on those particular spots. Further examination by your dentist will determine what actions need to be taken from there.
  • Relax! Stress can play a huge factor in clenching your teeth. See our previous blog post for more information on this subject.


Cracked tooth or missing filling:

Cracked teeth—or a lost filling or crown—can expose the inner tooth pulp to irritation by food and hot or cold temperatures. If left untreated for too long, cracks can grow, creating a split tooth and making a fix unlikely. To avoid cracked teeth, follow these tips:

  • Don’t chew on hard foods, like ice cubes, hard candies, or other objects like pens or jewelry.
  • Wear mouth protection when playing physical sports.


If you notice a crack or missing hardware, set up a time to visit your doctor as soon as possible to prevent any further damage. Until you can see your dentist, there are few things you can do to help with the pain. One option is to take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. (Always read the directions to ensure you are able to take it!) You can also put clove oil on a cotton swab and apply it to the affected area. Apply a cold press if you notice swelling. Remember, these are just temporary solutions to your pain, and you will need to go to your dentist if the pain persists for more than 1-2 days.


So You Burnt Your Tongue, What’s Next?

So You Burnt Your Tongue, What’s Next?
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So You Burnt Your Tongue, What’s Next?

Foods and drinks are a huge part of our daily life. Not only do we need them to live, but meals are a huge part of every culture. Let’s paint a scene for you. You are out with a group of friends at a pizza parlor. The aroma of wood baked pizza fills your nose and makes your stomach gurgle with anticipation. You order your favorite type of pizza and patiently wait for it to come out.

After some time passes, you eye your waiter heading towards your table with your pizza. As he sets it down in front of you, he warns, “Careful, this just came out of the oven.”

Overcome with excitement, you ignore his cautionary advice. You bite down–

The cheese is scalding hot. At this point, you inhale and exhale repeatedly to try and cool the bite of pizza off. You debate if you should spit it out, but you don’t want to be gross in front of your friends. It’s too late. The damage to your tongue is done.

What To Do After You Burn Your Tongue

Now that your favorite pizza parlor has implemented a scorched earth strategy on your tongue, it’s time to find ways to soothe the damage done.

  1. Just like if you burn another part of your body, applying something cold as soon as possible can help mitigate pain. Sucking on an ice cube will help.
  2. Put granulated sugar on your tongue and press it on the roof of your mouth. These instructions might seem ironic coming from a dentist, but this trick will help with the pain. But no, this doesn’t give you an excuse to eat a Snickers bar. That’s on you.
  3. Don’t add inSALT to injury. Seriously, avoid eating hot, salty, acidic, or spicy foods. These foods can irritate your burn, and hot foods can add to the injury as well. Until your tongue heals stick with cold pizza.
  4. If your tongue still hurts after these remedies, consider taking medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These will help with swelling and pain. If you are unsure if you can take these, make sure you check with your doctor first.
  5. If your tongue is still in pain after about 7 days, seek medical attention from your local doctor or dentist.


Degrees Of Burns On Your Tongue

While this blog offers solutions to help burnt tongues, if you believe you have a second or third degree burn, please go seek medical attention to ensure you have the best possible care.

First-Degree: Minor damage, tongue may look a little red
Second-Degree: Blisters may form on the tongue and is typically more painful
Third-Degree: White, blackened, or charred tissue, may be numb or have severe pain

Unless your pizzeria uses a blast furnace, thankfully you are unlikely to get a third degree burn on your tongue.

Additional Information about Tongue Burns

  • Depending on the severity of your burn, you may have a metallic taste in your mouth. Do not worry; this should go away as your burn heals.
  • Taste buds can be burnt off, but will grow back within 10-14 days.

While having a burnt tongue isn’t particularly dangerous, it can be a nuisance for some time. The best way to prevent burns is to be wary around hot items; test nibbles and sips will do you wonders. When the inevitable burnt tongue does happen, use the remedies above to make your time with a burnt tongue a little more bearable.