It seems odd to have a day on the calendar devoted to dental pain. We’re dentists, and even we think so. Still, National Toothache Day (on February 9) seems like a good time to remind you of the ways we can stop a toothache – or, even better, prevent it from happening in the first place.

First, know that we will do our best to see you for a same-day appointment if you are experiencing dental pain caused by a toothache or anything else. You can even leave a message for us if you call after hours. We’ll see existing patients for problems that can’t wait.

Hopefully, your toothache won’t be an emergency. To take care of any discomfort until you can see us, try an over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin. If it’s your child with the toothache, the acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the best choice. If you’re using aspirin, forget the folk remedy of putting it right on your sore. This won’t help with pain – and can cause more harm. 

You can also use a topical anesthetic like Orajel. They contain benzocaine, a numbing agent. Another option is clove oil. Both may be applied directly to the tooth. They are for short-term use only, however.

When you do see us, we will likely stop your toothache with one of these restorative treatments:

  • Dental Filling – If you’ve got a cavity, we’ll repair it with a filling. We typically use non-metal fillings made of composite. We’ll match the color to your other teeth, so your filling won’t stand out in your smile. 
  • Dental Crown – A crown can fix a cavity that is too large for a filling. It can also mend broken and cracked teeth. This will get you out of pain and prevent any further damage from happening. 
  • Root Canal – If the infection gets inside your tooth – often through a deep cavity or an unrepaired crack or break – you will need a root canal to restore your tooth to health. 

We’ll numb your mouth prior to any of these procedures. However, you can also receive dental sedation if you’d like. We offer both fast-acting laughing gas and calming oral sedation in the form of a small pill. 

If you’re like most people you’d probably like to prevent toothaches from happening in the first place. Fortunately, prevention is pretty easy with a combination of good oral hygiene and professional assistance in the form of:

  • Regular Exams and Cleanings – We suggest visiting our Elizabethtown, KY office every six months. This allows us to remove built-up plaque and tartar from your teeth before they can cause cavities or other problems. It also helps us find problems like cavities in their earliest stages, before they cause a toothache or worsen into a bigger problem. 
  • Mouthguards – You can damage teeth playing sports or by grinding your teeth. In both cases, the result may be a toothache. Our dentists can fit you for a custom-made mouthguard for either issue. 

Need to make an appointment? Call Harvey and Nichols Family Dentistry at 270-491-3768 (Lakewood) 270-200-6225 (Lincoln Trail)