6 short-term solutions for when dental pain strikes

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Updated Jul 30, 2018

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Dental Care OtrDental pain while driving over the road can be hard to address since there aren’t exactly dentist offices at your typical truck stops. So what’s a suffering trucker to do when a toothache develops or they chip a tooth?

Dr. John Luther, the chief dental officer for Western Dental, a national dental care provider, put together a list of six suggestions for managing dental issues short-term when it’s just not possible to get to a dentist immediately.

Luther has advice for the six following situations, which he shared in a news release from Western Dental:

Toothaches: “Rinse mouth with warm water and use dental floss to remove any lodged food. If swelling appears, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek. Never put aspirin against the gums or on the sore tooth, because it may burn the gum tissue.”

Chipped or Broken Tooth: “Rinse mouth and any broken pieces with warm water. If bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth to reduce swelling and ease the pain.”

Lost Filling: “Stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement.”

Lost Crown: “If in pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the tooth. Try to slip the crown back over the tooth. Before putting the crown back in place, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste or denture adhesive to help hold it in place. Never use Super Glue.”

Broken Braces Wire: “If a wire breaks or sticks out and is poking you, use the eraser end of a pencil to move the wire. If that is not working, use orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball or a piece of gauze to cover the wire tip. Don’t cut the wire, because there’s a risk of swallowing it.”

Knocked-Out Tooth: “Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth) and rinse with warm water. Using no force, try to replace the tooth facing the right way. If that’s not possible, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or a cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt). A tooth that has been knocked out has the highest chance of being saved when it is returned to the socket within one hour.”