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Find information on medical topics, symptoms, drugs, procedures, news and more, written in everyday language.

* This is the Consumer Version. *

Introduction to Urgent Dental Problems

By David F. Murchison, DDS, MMS, Texas A & M Health Science Center, Baylor College of Dentistry;University of Texas at Dallas

Certain dental problems require prompt treatment to relieve discomfort and minimize damage to the structures of the mouth. Such urgent dental problems include

To relieve most dental pain and discomfort, people can take acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) by mouth. To relieve severe pain, people may need to combine these drugs with more powerful prescription opioid pain relievers such as codeine, hydrocodone, or oxycodone. To relieve pain resulting from a surgical procedure, people may alternate between ibuprofen and acetaminophen every 3 hours for a short period of time.

To treat infections caused by dental problems, doctors and dentists give penicillin, amoxicillin, or clindamycin.

* This is the Consumer Version. *