How to keep toothaches from being a pain to your business

Posted on February 5, 2020 in General oral health

woman with tooth pain

Distracted workers cost American businesses millions of dollars every year.1 And there’s little that’s more distracting than the pain of a toothache.

Get to know more about toothaches so you can help save your employees some pain and keep them productive.

The causes of toothache pain2,3

  • These are the most common reasons an employee might be suffering from toothache pain:
    • Cavities
    • Infection that has reached the nerve
    • Gum disease
    • Teeth grinding and clenching
    • Injury
    • Sinus or ear infection
    • Heart disease (tooth and jaw pain can be symptoms)
  • If pain lasts more than a day, it’s crucial to see a dentist. An oral exam will reveal the reason for the toothache. An injured tooth may require seeing a dentist or visiting an emergency room immediately. Urge your employees to seek help quickly.
  • If the problem is not treated early, it can worsen and result in more serious and costly treatment.

How to get temporary relief

  • While anyone suffering from a toothache should see a dentist as soon as possible, the pain can sometimes be relieved for a short period with these self-remedies:
    • Rinsing with warm saltwater.
    • Carefully flossing to remove any food trapped in teeth.
    • Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. 
    • Using an over-the-counter toothache gel, cream or liquid that contains benzocaine. (Consult your dentist or physician before using over-the-counter relief.)
    • Applying a cold compress to the cheek when a tooth has been injured.

How you can help your employees

  • Share this information so employees can learn the causes and temporary relief methods for a toothache.
  • Keep toothache relief options in your first-aid kit.
  • Encourage employees to practice good oral health habits — brushing twice a day, flossing daily, seeing their dentist regularly, and wearing a mouthguard while playing sports or taking part in many activities.4
  • Most important, offer a great dental plan as part of your benefits package. Americans with coverage are more likely to see the dentist,5 which means they are much less likely to let productivity-killing toothaches linger.