Suppose your tooth is aching, but you can’t see the dentist immediately. Here’s what you can do in the meantime to make the pain stop.
A throbbing toothache can make your life miserable. The pain keeps you up at night, and you can’t complete your everyday chores because of your painful tooth. You make an appointment with your dentist but won’t be able to see them for a day or two. What can you do in the meantime to stop a toothache?
Before you visit your dentist, you can try at-home remedies to alleviate the discomfort. While these are only temporary measures, they may help make the toothache more bearable until you can receive treatment.
What causes a toothache?
Decay is the leading cause of toothaches. When bacterial infection spreads beyond the tough outer layer of enamel and into the tooth’s root, the nerves inside the pulp become inflamed and painful, especially when consuming hot or cold foods or beverages. Biting down can also feel uncomfortable.
Other common causes of toothache include:
An abscess. Untreated cavities or caries can lead to a severe bacterial infection or abscess around the tooth. Without intervention, the infection may leak into the blood and spread to other parts of the body, which can have serious health implications.
Trauma. A crack within the tooth from an injury can expose the nerves inside. As a result, the nerves become frayed and painful.
Sinus infection. Your tooth may hurt when a sinus infection presses on the roots of your molars. An antihistamine may relieve the pain.
Teeth grinding. Constantly grinding your teeth at night can cause tooth pain. A mouthguard can help.
Five home remedies to make the toothache stop
Whatever the cause, you’ll want to dull the pain until you can see your dentist. At-home remedies such as the ones listed below may help for a little while.
OTC pain relievers. Ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are available over the counter to relieve pain. You can also numb the pain with a gel or paste containing benzocaine.
Apply an ice pack. A cold compress gently pressed to the area of the toothache can reduce swelling and pain.
Elevate your head at night. Elevating your head on a pillow while you sleep prevents blood from rushing to your head and causing more pain.
Salt water rinse. Salt can disinfect your mouth and reduce inflammation. Mix about half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water and swirl in your mouth.
Limit triggering foods. If you know certain foods intensify the toothache, avoid them until treatment. Common toothache triggers include hot, cold, sweet, and spicy foods and drinks.
Treating a toothache
At-home remedies provide only a brief relief from a toothache. They will not make the pain go away or cure the toothache. But your dentist can treat your tooth in several ways:
Filling. Your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and replace it with a filling made of resin, porcelain, or a combination of the materials.
Crown. Your dentist can restore a tooth with extensive decay or breakage with a crown fitted over the healthy part of the tooth.
Root canal. You’ll need root canal therapy if the decay reaches the inner pulp. This procedure involves scooping the infection from the pulp and filling the canals with dental material. After a root canal, you’ll need a filling or crown.
Extraction. The only remedy for a badly damaged or decayed tooth may be an extraction. However, your dentist will try to save the tooth, as an extraction is considered a last resort.
Taking care of your teeth is your best bet to avoid a toothache. Brushing and flossing daily, regular dentist visits, and limiting sugary snacks will keep your teeth healthy and pain-free.
Don’t live with the pain!
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Norman, OK, location today! Our highly trained dentists have over 20 years of experience and can determine what’s causing your toothache to help make the pain stop. Don’t live near our Norman, OK, office? Find one of our other locations near you.
550 24th Ave. S.W.
Norman, OK 73069