Dental pain (or orofacial pain) can be caused by a toothache or issues with the gums, tongue, or tissue. Assessing your level of discomfort can help your doctor or dentist advise proper treatment. Young children are sometimes cannot express their level of pain, because of their limited vocabularies. Something called the “pain scale” helps people of all ages describe their personal pain sensitivity.
Verbal Rating Scale
This is a pain scale method that describes pain with words. A scale of 0 – 3 is assigned to particular word pairings shown to the patient. “No pain,” “mild pain,” “moderate pain,” and “severe pain” are the word pairings the patient is asked to rate.
Visual Analog Scale
A line of ten centimeters is provided with a “happy face” to represent no pain and “sad face” for severe pain on opposite ends of a line. The patient will indicate their level of pain by pointing to the face that shows how they’re feeling.
Wong-Baker FACES (Numeric) Pain Rating Scale
This pain scale uses six different faces, with different looks to describe the type of pain it represents.
- Face 0 – no pain.
- Face 1 – minor pain.
- Face 2 – slightly more painful.
- Face 3 – increased, moderate pain.
- Face 4 – above moderate pain.
- Face 5 – severe pain.
The Wong-Baker pain scale is an effective method for judging children’s pain levels. Young children may have a hard time explaining themselves, and the pictures help.
The Bottom Line About Pain Scales
“Stabbing,” “dull,” “throbbing,” and “unbearable” are some words patients can use when describing pain. However, those with limited verbal skills or cognitive challenges may communicate better using a pain scale. Contact Dentist Map to locate premium dental care services in Canada.