Chris Croft's Personal Blog

March 17, 2011

Toothache – what can you do?

Filed under: Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 10:25 am

Just some notes which I hope may be useful for fellow sufferers…

Yes, you can get toothache in a root-canal capped tooth. An x-ray will tell you whether the bugs have somehow managed to get in under it.

Toothache can’t spread from one tooth to another, so a cracked filling in the one next door really is just a coincidence.

It starts as an itchy feeling in the tooth, then a feeling of pressure, which throbs with your pulse, and then it may move on from a dull ache to a sharp splitting pain.

The only option is antibiotics / penicillin, but the key point is that they take three days to kick in, so
a) take them as soon as the initial itch begins (I didn’t)
b) don’t panic if after 2 days they still haven’t worked (I did)
c) you WILL need pain killers to get you through the three days

Different bugs are immune to different penicillin. I was given the classic Amoxycillin, but that didn’t work (you have to wait three days to find that out!) so I as then given Phexin (aka Ceporex) which thankfully did work. But that meant six days of tooth ache!


The obvious ones are paracetamol and ibuprofen, and since they are independent you can take both if desperate. they only last four hours, so that gives you two problems – one is that at the end of the four hours they start to wear off, and so you take another, which takes 15-30 minutes to kick in, so you get maybe half an hour of pain. So my method was to overlap the cycles, taking paracetamol at say 10 and 2 and 6, and taking ibuprofen at 12 and 4 and 8 etc.

You have to be really careful no to overdose on painkillers, and most pills that have names like Oronac, Codeine or Nurofen etc have one or other of the above two in them. Some of them are a mixutre of aspirin and the above two. I think pure aspirin might be another independent pain killer you can take, but don’t quote me! Anyway, my point is read the labels really carefully to make sure you’re not overdosing.

The other problem is that when you go to sleep after 4 hours the pills wear off and you wake up in agony.

In the end I was prescribed some brilliant 12 hour release pain killers called Voveran, which got me through the night. I’m not really sure what it was, and I was told to not take any other pills with it, but it certainly worked for me. Because it was slow release I did find it look almost an hour to kick in, but other than that – brilliant!

I did try the idea of ice cube / pressure on your hand between your thumb and first finger, but it didn’t work at all. Maybe if you get someone else to do the pressing it might work, but I don’t think it’s as good as big pills!

Cold showers, especially putting my head under the cold water, did work for a while.

Sipping cold water from a cup, and slurping in some air as well so it flows over the tooth, worked last time but didn’t work this time.

Once the penicillin has finally got the bugs under control you can get the tooth drilled or whatever. Don’t decide to leave it since it’s feeling OK again – it’ll come back again at some point! I am having my tooth pulled out tomorrow, so that’s an end to it. Happy days!




  1. Hi Chris
    Try Oil of Cloves rubbed in to affected area.
    Phone the Dentist and ask for an emergency appointment

    Comment by Elizabeth M Smith — March 17, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    • Yes, cloves are meant to be great, i’ll try that next time. And I completely agree, hone that dentist ASAP! I was on holiday in India so it was a bit more tricky…. Not sure if it was the variations in pressure during the flight, or the different bacteria they have in India, or just bad luck….

      Comment by chriscroft — March 24, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

  2. This is what I have been going through for the last 3 days, worst pain in my life. Glad to know that I’m not alone. I have been waking up between 2-3 AM just to yell in pain and to take another pills. I almost called an ambulance, I couldn’t breathe properly because of the pain.

    What works for me while waiting for painkiller to kick in is to press on some pressure points: in front of ear, below ear, below jaw.
    Put thumb close with index finger, and press on a point below index finger that hurts like hell, it worked for me to distract from toothache.

    Comment by another toothache victim — March 15, 2015 @ 2:20 pm

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