1. Clean Mouth
- Have the person rinse mouth with warm water.
- The person should gently floss teeth to remove food particles from area.
2. Control Swelling and Pain
- Apply a cool compress to outside of mouth or cheek.
- Give acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain. Do not give aspirin to anyone under age 18.
- Do not put aspirin against gums near aching tooth. It can burn gum tissue.
3. When to See a Dentist
See a dentist if:
- The person has jaw pain accompanied by a popping or clicking noise. This could signal temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
4. Follow Up
If you seek dental care:
- The dentist will examine the person's teeth and may take an X-ray.
- If there are signs of infection, the dentist will prescribe an antibiotic.
- Treatment for TMJ may include a mouth guard to prevent tooth grinding, stress reduction techniques, or surgery.
WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth
Elena Antonelli, MD on April 29, 2010
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