Dental Pain Overview

Woman in bed having dental pain

An overview of dental pain

Dental pain can affect your patients' quality of life and overall health, making daily actions like chewing, biting, talking, or sleeping more difficult. More than 40% of adults reported feeling pain in their mouths in the past year, and 80% will have at least 1 cavity by 34 years of age.1

Acute dental pain can affect the hard and soft tissues of the mouth and can be due to dental procedures or underlying conditions.2 While acute pain resolves, pain that lasts longer than 3 months is considered chronic. Diagnosing dental pain is important to help patients recognize triggers, find a treatment plan, and regain their quality of life.

Dental pain facts

  • Man with dental pain touches his jaw

    Dental pain can be caused by a variety of procedures and conditions, such as:

    • Dental procedures and cleanings
    • Dentin hypersensitivity
    • Dental caries
    • Other causes, such as bruxism, periodontal disease, and more

    Learn more about the causes of dental pain.

  • Woman with dental pain while eating salad

    The following symptoms can indicate an underlying oral health problem:

    • Sensitivity to hot or cold food
    • Sharp pain when biting down
    • Lingering pain after eating
    • Constant and severe pain and pressure
    • Dull ache and pressure in upper teeth and jaw
    • Wisdom tooth pain symptoms

    Learn more about the symptoms of dental pain

  • Map of USA

    More than 40% of US adults experienced dental pain1

    1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 64 years has cavities3

    80% of patients will have at least 1 cavity before age 341

    41% of adults suffer from dentin hypersensitivity4

    4 in 10 adults aged 30 years and older had periodontal disease1

  • Woman with dental pain in dentist office touches her jaw

    Dental pain treatment options

    Depending upon the type of dental pain, you can recommend different types of treatment:

    • For mild to moderate postoperative dental pain and inflammation, recommend a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) pain reliever, such as Advil. Postoperative dental pain is associated with inflammation of the underlying tissues. Advil works at the site of pain to relieve and reduce pain caused by inflammation
    • Advil is the #1 recommended OTC brand by dentists for pain relief. The American Dental Association recommends NSAIDs, like ibuprofen (Advil) first line for dental pain management over prescription opioids
    • Additionally, a recent study comparing over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pain relievers found a combination therapy of ibuprofen with acetaminophen (like Advil Dual Action), more effective than any prescription opioid-containing regimen with a lower risk of adverse effects, in the treatment of acute dental pain from third-molar extractions.5 Advil Dual Action is the first and only pain-relief medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration that combines acetaminophen and ibuprofen
    • For dentin hypersensitivity, recommend a specialist toothpaste like Sensodyne, the #1 dentist-recommended brand for sensitive teeth.6 It’s clinically proven to relieve dentin hypersensitivity*
    • For other causes of dental pain, evaluation is recommended for treatment

    Nonpharmacologic options:

    • Rinse with salt water to speed gum tissues healing and minimize pain and sensitivity
    • Rinse with water and honey
    • Use a soft toothbrush

Read more about Dental Pain

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Find out more about the causes of dental pain.

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Signs & symptoms

Explore an overview of the signs & symptoms of dental pain.

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Advil pack shots

Advil’s proven efficacy and safety profile

Discover why Advil is the #1NSAID brand preferred by patients.

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Help your patients treat and manage their dental pain.

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Advil Dual Action MOA

Discover Advil Dual Action

Learn how Advil Dual Action combines 2 distinct mechanisms of action (MOA) to fight dental pain in 2 ways.

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Patient resources

Access resources designed to help your patients as they navigate their pain symptoms.

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