Dental Pain Relief

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Dental Pain

Dental pain is one if those things that until you have experienced it, you can’t imagine how bad it can be. You want to just knock your head against the wall to make it go away. What is dental pain and how can we treat it and prevent it?dental pain dr ari greenspan jerusalem dentist

In general pain allows the body to know that something is wrong. In a tooth the nerves are in the center canal known as the pulp chamber. When that nerve is affected then dental pain occurs. There can be many reasons for dental pain, for example a tooth may have a fracture in it causing inflammation of the nerve. Or, if a cavity is so deep that the decay has penetrated into the nerve, then bacteria enter the area and cause an infection. Since the nerve is in an enclosed area the infection begins to create pressure that can be terribly painful. Often, patients will say their tooth “feels high” when they bite. That is because pus building up under the tooth actually pushes it and makes it a bit higher than the adjacent teeth. Ultimately, the pus breaks through the bone around the tooth causing it to flow into the cheek and cause swelling.

Medications for Dental Pain

dental painkillersIf the source of the pain is an infection, then your dentist has to prescribe the correct antibiotic for you. If you do get an antibiotic, be careful to follow the instructions exactly. If not done so, the pain could actually get worse.

There are 3 basic type of pain relievers

1.Cox-1 inhibitors

Acamol and Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs -NSAIDs. These drugs, like acamol, optalgin,advil reduce inflammation. They work by inhibiting an inflammatory chemical in the body known as cyclo-oxygenase 1 or COX1. This reduces pain.

2. Cox-2 inhibitors

Cox 2 was discovered with research on pain and found not to be affected by NSAIDs. SO a new class was developed that treats the cyclo-oxygenase 2 or COX2 chemicals preventing inflammation. Both of these reduce swelling locally reducing pain.


These drugs affect dental pain not at the source of the pain but in pain centers of the brain. So codeine or morphine are potent dental pain relievers. They have side effects like, tiredness, dizziness and are addictive.

No matter what, your dentist should be contacted to receive a prescription for dental pain.


Dr. Ari Greenspan is a Dentist in Jerusalem