Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Prevention Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Dental Pain Home Care

Home care for dental pain includes:

Home care for minor dental injuries includes:
  • Apply cold compresses for swelling of the face:
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours.
  • Eat a soft diet.
    • Do not eat foods that you must tear with your teeth, such as pizza crust.

Home care for more serious tooth injuries includes:

Home care for a completely dislodged tooth includes:
  • Do not touch the root of the tooth.
  • Rinse off the tooth in tap water.
  • For adult teeth:
    • Determine the normal position of the tooth.
    • Place the dislodged tooth back in its socket.
    • Bite down gently on gauze to hold the tooth in place.
    • Place the tooth in milk if you are unable to place the tooth back into the socket.
    • See a dentist immediately.
  • Do not place a dislodged baby tooth back into the socket.

For more information:

Dental Pain Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with dental pain include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Dental Pain Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain in children with dental pain include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.



Dental Pain Warning Signs

See your dentist right away for dental pain and any of the following:

  • A tooth that is completely knocked out
  • A tooth that is out of place
  • Bleeding from a tooth
  • Inability to bite normally
  • Inability to talk or swallow
  • Severe tooth pain

Notify your dentist for:

Continue to Dental Pain Prevention

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Dental Pain References
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  2. Douglass AB, Douglass JM. Common dental emergencies. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Feb 1;67(3):511-6. [12588073]
  3. Preshaw PM. Antibiotics in the treatment of periodontitis. Dent Update. 2004 Oct;31(8):448-50, 453-4, 456. [15554049]
  4. Roberts A. Bacteria in the mouth. Dent Update. 2005 Apr;32(3):134-6, 139-40, 142. [15881508]
  5. Wayne DB, Trajtenberg CP, Hyman DJ. Tooth and periodontal disease: a review for the primary-care physician. South Med J. 2001 Sep;94(9):925-32. [11592756]
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