It can happen at virtually any time and often without warning — a sharp pain while brushing your teeth, eating, or just generally going about your day. The discomfort and pain of a toothache can derail your schedule and make everyday tasks uncomfortable. A toothache makes it hard to eat and smile, and the mere thought of brushing your teeth sends shudders down your spine.
If you’re too busy for a trip to see us at Alegria Dental Care or your toothache strikes when we aren’t open, you’re left caring for this toothache on your own. It may sound daunting, but don’t despair. There are many at-home remedies to treat your toothache and manage your pain before your appointment with Stefanie Sunnes, DMD, at Alegria Dental Care.
Use over-the-counter painkillers as your first layer of pain management. Take your typical dose as soon as you feel the toothache starting in a bid to soften any incoming pain. Your preferred painkiller suffices here, so feel free to take ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen, or aspirin. Children 16 years and under should not take aspirin.
If the pain is especially stubborn, you can go back and forth every three hours between acetaminophen and the other three drugs. Do not take ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin within eight to 12 hours of each other.
It may not feel like it, but your blood flow actually has something do with pain. The science behind it is pretty simple: Cold temperature constricts your blood flow, reducing the amount of blood that reaches the area. The slower the blood reaches the affected area, the less likely it is to pool and cause pain. It’s the same science that applies to swelling and bruises.
A cold compress slows the blood flow to your gums, which are likely inflamed and pressing against your tooth. The end result is pain reduction in two ways. The cold naturally numbs the area to blunt the pain and the restricted blood flow reduces swelling.
Make a cold compress with an ice pack from your local drugstore or use a plastic bag of ice.
You can also try using a warm saltwater rinse and a hydrogen peroxide rinse. Although they use different materials, the basic principle is the same. When you swish the rinse around in your mouth, you help dislodge any debris or food particles that could be stuck between your teeth. The salt and hydrogen peroxide also act as natural disinfectants and have been shown to reduce inflammation and heal oral wounds.
Use both rinses like you would mouthwash. For the saltwater, mix a half-teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water. When using hydrogen peroxide, add equal parts water and 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
Toothaches existed long before dentists or painkillers. Our ancestors were surely thankful for the bountiful natural remedies shown to help with toothache pain.
Peppermint tea bags are known to help numb tooth pain away. As an extra bonus, the menthol in peppermint tea also acts as a disinfectant. After warming the tea bag in hot water, let it cool for a bit before pressing it on the affected area.
Clove, thyme, aloe vera, garlic, and wheat grass also have a history of easing tooth pain. If you have a favorite natural remedy, there is a good chance it can help sooth your hurting mouth.
Notice anything missing from these remedies? All of them are meant to sooth, not fix, a toothache. Only a dentist can cure a toothache and give you tips on preventing more pain.
Make an appointment with Dr. Sunnes as soon as your toothache starts. With years of experience in non-invasive dental techniques, she has the tools and know-how to treat your toothache. Make an appointment online or call Alegria Dental Care today. Your mouth will thank you.