Dental pain can be a real, well, pain to deal with. The pounding, throbbing nature of a toothache can make it hard to focus on anything else. Can and should you deal with dental pain or a toothache by seeing an acupuncturist? Maybe. Keep reading to learn more about this option and how to take advantage of it.

When is it a good idea to see an acupuncturist?

You should not see an acupuncturist instead of a dentist. Many toothaches are caused by infections, and these infections need to be treated properly, by a dentist, to keep them from spreading to other tissues. What you can do safely, though, is see an acupuncturist after you see the dentist. Or, you can see the acupuncturist once you've made a dental appointment but are still waiting for the day of that appointment to arrive.

How can acupuncture work for a toothache?

Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of ailments, but it is really well known for its ability to ease pain. This can include the pain caused by toothaches. Acupuncture works by basically activating the nerves to the point that they stop sending pain signals as often. For some patients, pain signals are diminished for several days or even weeks after treatment, which could be just the right amount of relief when you're waiting to see the dentist or waiting for the infection causing your toothache to clear.

Where will the acupuncturist put the needles?

Acupuncturists put the needles in different places depending on the location of the pain they're trying to manage. For a toothache, they may place needles along the cheek and jaw, and also along the hand in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger. Another pressure point for dental pain is on the shoulders, so don't be surprised if your acupuncturist places needles there. Remember, they are aiming to target nerves, and some of the nerves associated with your tooth and jaw come off the spine and run up towards your face.

Will acupuncture hurt?

The last thing you want when you have dental pain is more pain. Luckily, acupuncture should not hurt. You may feel a tiny pinch when the needles are inserted, but many patients do not even feel this.

If you're struggling with dental pain, definitely see a dentist, but also consider including an acupuncture treatment specialist in your care. They can do a lot to relieve your pain.