Whenever you have a painful toothache, you should see your dentist as soon as possible because the pain could be a symptom of something serious. By seeing your dentist, you’ll minimize the problem and you’ll stop suffering too.
There is however those times when you may not be able to get to your dentist right away. You could be at work, or the pain could start shooting in the middle of the night. In a case like this, you are going to want to ease the agony until you can see your dentist.
- Common Causes of Toothaches
- How to Temporarily Relieve Toothache Pain
- If the Tooth is Loose
- Get Treated Quickly
Common Causes of Toothaches
There are a number of situations that can lead to painful toothaches but these are the most common:
- Tooth decay and cavities
- Damaged teeth through injuries
- Gum and tooth infections/disease
- A severely loose molar
- Exposed tooth root
- Teeth fractures
- An abscessed tooth
Relieving toothache pain could involve extracting the tooth/teeth, repairing it, or cleaning out an infection. Your dentist will determine the right course of action to take and provide you with a long term oral care plan that will reduce the chances of future issues. One of the best ways to avoid these problems and keep your teeth strong is by taking these vitamins on a daily basis.
How to Temporarily Relieve Toothache Pain
In most cases, a short-term pain-relieving technique can one of two things. It interferes with the nervous system’s pain signals, and/or it reduces inflammation. When gum tissues becomes inflamed, they rub up against nerve endings, causing you pain.
Read through all of the methods below because you can try out each of them to see which ones works the best. The following methods will reduce a severe toothache before you see your dentist:
1. Brush Your Teeth, Floss & Rinse
If you have a toothache, food lodged between your teeth and gums are not going to make things better. The first piece of advice is to make sure to floss, brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash after each meal.
Doing this every day is important, but until you get to see your dentist, it will be one factor that could help alleviate the pain of a toothache.
2. Try Anti-inflammatory Medicine
If you’re between the ages of 16 and 65, not pregnant, not breastfeeding, and in good overall health, you might be able to alleviate a toothache by taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). NSAID is the formal term for common medicines like aspirin (Bayer), ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve).
If you do take one of these medications, be careful to do so as directed on the bottle.
3. Rinse with Salt Water
Here’s a remedy you’ll be surprised that works quite well at reducing toothache pain.
- Pour yourself a cup of warm water (warm tap-water will do).
- Add a half teaspoon of salt and stir until the water is clear.
- Swish and rinse thoroughly.
- Make sure to swish several times.
- Repeat again every few hours.
Salt water will bring down the inflammation and cleans any infected areas inside your mouth.
4. Rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide
You could also use a hydrogen peroxide rinse to reduce toothache pain. Hydrogen peroxide will kill harmful bacteria in addition to reducing inflammation.
- Pour a half/half mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide.
- Lightly stir the solution together.
- Finally, rinse your mouth as though you were using a mouthwash.
- Repeat several times and several times during the day.
5. Use a Cold Pack
Using a cold pack to alleviate tooth ache pain is quite effective.
To do so, simply press a cold pack against the part of your face that hurts and hold it for as long as you can for a maximum of 15 minutes. Take a break for a few minutes, and then apply it again.
Try to repeat this process for at least an hour. Using an icepack will reduce toothache pain for at least a few hours and provide you with some needed relief.
If you don’t have a cold pack, wrap a couple ice cubes in a cloth. Make sure not to place a piece of ice directly on your face because the cold injure your skin.
6. Use a Waterpik
If you have access to a Waterpik you’re in luck. To use it to reduce severe toothache pain, just fill in with warm water and add a few drops of iodine in it. Iodine is know to have strong anti-inflammatory properties and will help disinfect the affected area.
If you don’t have iodine, you could could use hydrogen peroxide instead. Adding hydrogen peroxide to the Waterpik will also help disinfect the tooth and gums that are causing you issues and thus alleviate some of the pain.
Before using either of these products in your Waterpik, make sure to check the instructions for the right amount to use with the amount of water you’re using.
If the Tooth is Loose
If your tooth is extremely loose but not coming out, or you don’t want to pull it out, follow all the instructions above and try not to eat your food on that side of your mouth. The more you use the tooth to chew, the more you’ll irritate and inflame it, thus causing you more pain. Try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth until you can see your dentist, and keep the area of the painful tooth as clean as possible.
Get Treated Quickly
An aching tooth is a sign of a problem that needs to be looked at before it gets worse. Don’t wait—make an appointment with your dentist today and have the tooth looked at.
About Dr. Pio Modi
After Dr. Modi graduated from McMaster University with an Honours B.Sc. in chemistry in 1997, he received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Toronto in 2001. He began to practice dentistry in Brantford the following year. Throughout his career he's completed hundreds of hours of continuing education programs and has studied with some of the best educators in the industry.