Toothaches result from a long list of dental issues. You may have a cavity, the early stages of tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or a problem with an existing filling.
Sometimes bigger issues, such as exposed nerves, also cause toothaches, and sometimes it’s as simple as food stuck between your teeth and irritating your gums. When you get a toothache, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with your dentist.
When you have to wait until the next day to see your dentist, dealing with toothache pain can be distracting and downright frustrating. Try a few of these remedies to help with your toothache pain until your dentist appointment, so you can concentrate at work and get some valuable sleep.
To relieve some of the inflammation your toothache is causing, grab an ice pack and set it against your cheek to help numb the area. You may also want to hold your finger against an ice cube long enough to make your skin cold, and then gently massage the gum near your tooth with your chilly finger. As long as your tooth pain doesn’t come from nerve problems, ice should help.
Rinse With Salt Water or Hydrogen Peroxide
Warm salt water helps clean your mouth of any bacteria that might be lingering and irritating your toothache. Swish it around your mouth as many times as you deem necessary to help with the pain and keep your mouth clean. Hydrogen peroxide also kills the bacteria in your mouth, and it offers a little bit of pain relief as well. It doesn’t taste good, though, so if you’re sensitive to tastes, stick to salt water.
Take an OTC Painkiller
Sometimes the simple act of swallowing ibuprofen or acetaminophen is enough to take away toothache pain. Try taking your favorite OTC painkiller as directed and see if that helps with the toothache. Just be sure not to put any aspirin tablets or other painkillers against the gum itself, because it can cause major gum tissue irritation.
Create a Paste
Applying certain substances directly to the affected area can cause a minor numbing or pain dulling effect. Mix salt and pepper with just enough water to create a paste. Apply a dab of the paste directly to the tooth. If you can stand having a clove of garlic in your mouth, you can either apply part of the clove directly to the tooth, or crush the garlic and use it as a paste. Sometimes even something as simple as a piece of sugar-free gum placed over the tooth can help the pain caused by a wonky filling.
The remedies will temporarily take care of the pain your toothache causes, but only your dentist can treat the underlying cause of the toothache. Don’t cancel your appointment just because you start feeling better. Continue treating the toothache until you see your dentist, who will discover the problem and recommend treatment options to get you feeling better permanently.
Featured image via Flickr by jking89