How to Get Rid of a Toothache
Try these simple solutions to ease tooth pain.
Toothaches are an all too common complaint for many American adults, about 25% of who report having tooth pain or sensitivity in the past year. If you’ve ever had a tooth ache and throb through all hours of the day and night, you know that you’d do just about anything to get rid of the pain.
Sadly, getting your teeth to stop hurting is often easier said than done. It’s always best to see your dentist for help, but when you can’t get there right away, give these toothache remedies a try.
Avoid triggers for sensitive teeth.
If your tooth pain comes and goes, it could be because you have sensitive teeth. This often happens to people with thin or weakened enamel, especially caused by teeth grinding at night. Because teeth naturally wear down with age, some people also find that theirs become more sensitive as they get older.
Stopping pain from a sensitive tooth can sometimes be as simple as avoiding the things that trigger it. Common triggers for sensitivity include hot or cold foods and drinks, acidic or sugary foods, and tooth-whitening strips or toothpaste.
Using a mouthwash or toothpaste formulated to stop tooth sensitivity can also offer you some relief. If the pain persists even after these changes, though, your sensitivity could be due to something more than weak enamel.
Natural Toothache Remedies
For teeth that ache all the time, avoiding common triggers may not be enough. Thankfully, your kitchen cabinets are full of things that make excellent natural pain relievers.
The simplest toothache-relief solution is rinsing your mouth out with warm salt water. Salt water is antibacterial, and swishing it around can help loosen any debris that’s stuck between your teeth.
A warm saline rinse can also reduce inflammation, which helps to soothe irritated and swollen gums. If you can’t stand the taste of salt water, a diluted hydrogen peroxide rinse can have the same effect—just be very, very careful not to swallow it.
Another kitchen staple that’s great for oral pain relief is the humble clove. Not only is this spice antibacterial and antifungal, but it also contains an analgesic compound called Eugenol. This means it numbs tissue on contact.
If you have ground cloves in your cupboard, mix some with warm water or coconut oil to make a thick paste. Apply it to the painful area in your mouth and let it sit until the pain subsides, then rinse out. If you have whole cloves, you can suck on one near the affected tooth.
While these remedies are effective, be careful of giving them to small children. Only give your child a salt-water rinse or cloves if they’re old enough to avoid swallowing them.
If your tooth pain spreads into your jawbone, a cold compress might help you feel more comfortable. Wrap an ice pack or ziplock bag full of ice cubes in a hand towel, then hold it against your face for 20 minutes at a time.
Try pain relievers.
When salt water and cloves won’t cut it, it might be time to break open the medicine cabinet. Over-the-counter NSAIDs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can reduce moderate pain and inflammation. If your pain spreads to your gums or is near the surface of your tooth, an oral pain reliever like Oragel might be your best option.
Always be sure to ask your doctor before taking painkillers to make sure they won’t interact with other medications you’re on, and never take more than the recommended dose. If this still doesn’t get rid of your toothache, don’t reach for stronger meds. Call your dentist instead to schedule an urgent checkup.
Visit your dentist.
The best way to get rid of a toothache is to keep it from happening in the first place, which is why regular dental care should be a priority for everyone in your family. It’s also far more cost-effective to get your teeth cleaned twice a year than to repair tooth decay or other advanced issues. But if your teeth are already causing you pain, it’s even more important to schedule an appointment to rule out or fix any deeper issues.
After visiting the dentist, you might find out that your toothache is a larger issue like dental caries, damage, or gum disease. More than 31% of adult Americans have at least one untreated cavity, and many others have more serious oral health problems as well. Your dentist will look for the signs that something’s wrong and come up with a treatment plan to repair it.
What to do if it’s more than a toothache.
While you may feel like you can ignore a little cavity for a while and put up with the discomfort, the consequences of letting it go aren’t worth the trouble. Small cracks or spots of decay can quickly turn into a problem that needs a crown, root canal, or extraction to fix.
Even if you’re concerned about the cost of advanced treatment, it’s still crucial to get these issues taken care of right away. Talk to your dentist about your options for dental insurance, membership plans, and CareCredit. Your health and comfort are their priorities, so they’ll work with you to find an affordable option for treatment.
Try these remedies for toothache relief.
Don’t let your tooth pain interfere with your life or keep you up at night any longer. The next time you start to feel your tooth ache, throb, or get sensitive, give these remedies a try and schedule a visit with us for a checkup. Dr. Monroe will listen to your symptoms, take a look at your mouth, and help you get relief fast. Contact us online or give us a call to book your appointment today.