Pain Relief

This section is designed to be a general guide as to why teeth can be sensitive and/or painful. This information can be useful to assist with dental emergencies that may arise as well.

In an emergency, please contact us during clinic hours or after hours at your hospital emergency department.

Knocked out teeth:

With the hectic lifestyle that we lead today and sporting activities, tooth avulsion is a problem. More and more sports are making mouthguards a priority which is decreasing the incidence of accidents, however leisure activities such as skateboarding, and roller blading are adding to the problem. Often, people with prominent teeth (see orthodontic section) have a higher incidence of tooth damage occurring in the event of an accident. Acting quickly when a tooth is lost can save the tooth.

What to do

The most important thing to do is to get the tooth back into its socket as quickly as possible. The longer the tooth is out of its socket decreases the chance of success in saving the tooth.

1. Always remain calm. Once the tooth has been found then see how dirty it is. The best solution is to clean a tooth in milk or saline solution. Gently rinse the tooth. DO NOT SCRUB IT CLEAN, as you will remove the bony attachment from the tooth and do not touch the root surface.

2.  Putting it back in place you will need to use the other teeth as a guide and make sure the tooth is facing the right way. Push the tooth back into its socket using a quick, forceful motion until the tooth is in the right place.

3. If you cannot put the tooth back into place then you need to see a dentist immediately. The best solution is to store the tooth in milk or saline solution. If neither is available then wrap it in glad wrap or place the tooth in the patients mouth next to the cheeks. This will keep the bony attachment cells on the tooth alive and increase the chance of success in saving the tooth.

4.  A dentist will need to be seen immediately. They will either place the tooth into position for you or check that you have replaced the tooth satisfactorily. The tooth will then be splinted to the other teeth to hold it in place.

Follow up visits will need to be made to determine the treatment plan for the tooth. In many cases root canal therapy will have to be performed. Just remember that the chance of success is higher the quicker the tooth is placed back into its socket.


Toothaches are normally worse at night as everything becomes quiet and all you have to concentrate on is that pain. As you lie down and try to go to sleep the blood rushes to your head and stimulates the pain receptors in the area causing more pain.

There are many types of remedies that people try to use to relieve the pain such as hot packs, cold packs, tooth drops, salt water, mouth washes etc. Unfortunately, you will have to try these and see which one works best for you.

Painkillers can also be useful. You will have to read the directions and warnings on the packets to see which painkiller is suitable for you, or speak to a pharmacist.

Sensitive teeth: 

One in three adults suffer from sensitive teeth.

When sensitivity affects your teeth, eating experiences that are normally pleasurable can be very painful. Food and drinks that are usually enjoyable – such as hot coffee, steaming home made soup, ice-cold lemonade, or fresh strawberry ice-cream can stimulate a sharp, sudden pain that shoots deep into the nerve endings of your teeth.

If you’ve experienced sensitivity, you know the sensation all too well. What you may not know is that this condition can be prevented or eliminated.

By learning about sensitivity, you can make an informed decision about preventive hygiene and appropriate treatments, that will allow you to be one step closer to enjoying hot or cold foods and drinks – free of worry.