A toothache is your smile saying it’s time to see a dentist.
It goes without saying that pain is never a pleasant sensation to experience, and a toothache is one type of pain that can often be particularly bad.
Though pain is a negative feeling, it’s a valuable one! When you experience any type of pain, including a toothache, your body is trying to tell you something important. In the case of a toothache, your body is saying, “We’ve got a problem, and it’s time to see a dentist.”
Whenever you experience a toothache, the first thing to do is call your dentist.
As soon as you feel the itch of a toothache coming on, it’s time to call your dentist.
It’s important that you don’t delay scheduling an appointment in hopes the toothache will go away. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, it means damage has already occurred, not that damage might occur if your toothache decides to linger.
Even if you’re able to control your tooth pain at home and it dissipates, it will most likely come back unless you get treatment. Teeth are unable to heal themselves, so if you have a cavity that needs a filling or a damaged tooth that needs a crown, only a dentist can help.
Once your appointment has been scheduled, you can try out these home remedies to keep your tooth comfortable until your visit.
6 Safe and Effective Toothache Remedies to Try at Home
A quick Google search will yield hundreds of different toothache remedies; however, many of these “solutions” are either ineffective or can possibly cause more damage to your tooth.
When you’re in the middle of a bad toothache, it’s easy to feel desperate to seek relief, but rather than trying unusual methods, stick with these safe home remedies instead.
1. Salt Water Rinse
Mix ½ teaspoon of table salt or fine-grain sea salt into 8 oz. of warm water. Stir until dissolved and swish a few mouthfuls. Be sure to spit out the rinse each time.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse
A hydrogen peroxide rinse is similar to a salt water rinse, just with additional bacteria-fighting capabilities. Using 3% hydrogen peroxide, mix equal parts with lukewarm water. Swish a mouthful, and be careful to spit all of the solution out.
3. OTC Pain Relievers
NSAIDs are often the recommended form of OTC pain reliever for tooth pain. Ibuprofen is a tried-and-true option. Follow the direction on the bottle for dosage. You may also call your dentist and ask which OTC pain reliever they recommend.
4. OTC Toothache Relievers
Topical toothache ointments and gels can be a very effective way of dulling a toothache when combined with an OTC pain reliever or other remedies. When shopping, look for products that have the ADA Seal of Approval.
5. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea has natural numbing properties that can be great for a toothache. Not only can you sip on the warm tea, but you can also gently place the warm tea bag on your tooth like a warm compress.
6. Diluted Clove Oil
Clove oil can be as effective as benzocaine OTC toothache relievers but should be diluted before being applied. A drop of clove oil mixed with a drop of olive oil is a great option. You can use a clean cotton swab to dab the mixed oil on and around the painful tooth.
If these options aren’t helping you find relief and you’re experiencing uncontrollable pain coupled with fever, swelling, dizziness, or lethargy, you may need emergency dental care.
When Emergency Dental Care Is Needed
On average, over 1 million people in the U.S. go to an emergency room for tooth pain. The vast majority of ER visits from tooth pain stem from untreated tooth decay or periodontal disease that has led to severe pain and infection. Except in the cases of accidental injuries, such as an impact breaking a tooth, nearly all ER visits are preventable.
ERs are not a recommended place to visit for tooth pain, as most don’t have the ability to perform dentistry. The most an ER can offer is help controlling your pain and getting you started on antibiotics if an infection is present. You will still need to seek out dental care right away.
Cooley-Bentz Dental offers emergency dental care for patients who need urgent assistance.
All you need to do is call our office and follow our emergency line instructions to get in touch with an on-call staff member. This solution is ideal, as we can not only help with your pain and other symptoms but also get started on treatment to solve the underlying issue.
If you’re unable to reach our office and you’ve had a severe oral injury or are experiencing uncontrollable pain, especially when accompanied by a fever and swelling, please visit your closest emergency center right away.
Stop future toothaches from ever happening by scheduling a visit with Cooley-Bentz Dental today!
Remember, the majority of toothaches are preventable. With a thorough at-home dental care regimen and biannual dental check-ups, toothaches can be a thing of the past. Good oral hygiene habits prevent decay, while regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to catch early warning signs of a problem before they result in a painful surprise for you.
If you’re currently struggling with a troublesome tooth or you’re simply looking for a skilled, compassionate dental team to help you get your dream smile, Cooley-Bentz Dental has you covered. You can schedule your appointment with our team by calling our office or filling out this handy online form.