A toothache can range from mild sensitivity to intense throbbing pain. Luckily, if you have a toothache, there are numerous things you can do to relieve the pain. Take a look at these tips.
Rinse Your Mouth with Salt Water
A simple salt water rinse can help to kill the bacteria around your tooth and provide some relief from the pain. Pour about a quarter cup of warm water in a glass and add a spoonful of salt. Then, swish the salt water around your mouth and spit it out.
Try an Ice Pack
Cold can also help to dull the pain of a toothache. You can use a preexisting ice pack, or make your own by putting ice in a plastic bag and then wrapping with a sock for softness. If you are using ice to reduce swelling, you may have an infection. Don’t ignore this type of toothache—contact an emergency dentist as soon as possible.
Take an Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
You may also want to try an over-the-counter pain medication to help with the pain. In particular, you may want to try acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), or Naproxen (Aleve). You can actually rotate acetaminophen and ibuprofen. This allows you to take more pain medication and get a more effective result.
Some people crush aspirin and place it next to the painful tooth. Do not try this tactic. The aspirin can burn your gums and make the pain worse. Additionally, don’t give aspirin to children. If they have a virus, aspirin can lead to the rare but fatal condition of Reye’s syndrome.
Use Clove Oil or Teething Gel
If you’re looking for topical relief, you can try applying clove oil to the affected area. Some people even find relief by chewing on a stick of clove. Alternatively, apply a teething gel such as Anbesol, Orajel, or an off-brand substitute. While these creams are often associated with teething babies, they can also be used for canker sores and temporary pain relief related to cavities.
Switch to Sensitive Toothpaste
In some cases, you may have a mild toothache that is not related to a cavity. In particular, if you are feeling sensitivity when you eat hot or cold foods, you may have weak enamel. Switching to a toothpaste for sensitivity can help with this issue.
Keep a Record of Your Pain
You may want to keep a record of your pain. You don’t need a lot of details. Just jot down when you have toothache pain and how strong it feels. Also note which tooth is affected and add any additional details as needed. This can alert you to patterns, and this information can be useful to share with your dentist.
In most cases, a toothache indicates that you have a cavity. Contact your dentist for help as soon as possible, but take advantage of the above tips as you wait for your appointment.
If you have severe pain, you may have an abscess, and in this case, you need to see an emergency dentist. To make an appointment or learn more about toothaches, contact Suwanee Center for Family Dentistry today.