Toothache Pain Relief
Some toothaches are described as the worst pain a human might suffer. Immediate tooth pain relief is something you will definitely seek if it happens to experience such a toothache. Although in many cases only the dentist can provide the treatment for the toothache, several remedies can help relieve some of the pain, especially if you can not visit the dentist immediately.
How to Relieve Tooth Pain?
The possible remedies to achieve toothache pain relief depend on several factors, but the main one is to identify the possible cause of the problem.
In most cases, toothaches are caused by teeth or jaw problems, such as dental cavities, dental abscesses, teeth sensitivity, root exposure, cracked teeth, gum disease, wisdom teeth, tmj disorders and other. Unfortunately finding the cause of the pain is sometimes difficult even for the dentist without a detailed examination.
Some of the available toothache remedies may help in some cases, but may contradict and make the pain worse if the cause is different. Therefore you should always call a dental office (if you can not visit one) and ask the advice of a dentist for the most suitable remedy for temporary pain relief based on your symptoms.
The main method to relieve tooth pain is the use of painkillers, but you can also try several home remedies to stop a toothache. Always remember that toothaches must be treated by a dentist; any tooth pain relief remedies should only used as temporary and never as long term solutions.
How to find Toothache Pain Relief
After you have arranged your appointment with the dentist, the following remedies are believed to help alleviate some of the tooth pain until you get professional care:
Clean the mouth
The first thing you can do after experiencing a toothache is to make sure that your mouth is clean from dental plaque bacteria and food debris. Gently brush and floss teeth or use an interdental cleaner to remove any food particles trapped between teeth or between teeth and gums that may cause irritation and toothache. Sometime the pain is caused by food debris lodged into a cavity; removing it will immediately relieve the pain.
Rinse with salt water
Rinsing the mouth with lukewarm to warm salt water can also help not only in cleaning the mouth but also to ease gum swelling and provide some toothache pain relief. Salt water is also reducing the risk of tooth infection.
Toothache pain medication
Several types of medications can be used to reduce or stop a toothache. Some of them are only available on prescription, but many can be bought over the counter and may help until you visit your dentist or physician.
- Over the counter toothache medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen have analgesic or anti-inflammatory properties (Ibuprofen) and they can offer enough pain relief to make the toothache affordable.
- Prescription tooth pain medicines such as Vicodin containing hydrocodone are stronger analgesics that can help in case of severe toothache.
- Antibiotics should be taken only if recommended by the dentist, additionally to painkillers, when the cause of the tooth pain is an infection, such as in a tooth abscess. Fighting the infection can reduce inflammation and relieve the toothache.
- Numbing gels such as Anbesol or Orajel can be placed on the painful tooth and provide temporary relief by numbing the area, but they can not help with severe toothaches.
It is advisable that you call your dentist or physician for approval before taking any pain medication, even the OTC ones, especially if you take and other medications.
Brushing teeth with a special toothpaste for sensitive teeth can definitely help if you have a tooth sensitivity problem that causes the pain. It may also help in case of a mild toothache due to a cavity or after a dental treatment as placing a filling or a crown. In this case you can put some toothpaste directly on the painful tooth.
Applying a cold compress or an ice pack on the outside of the mouth over the area that hurts may relieve the pain. The use of cold will help also to reduce any swelling. Apply the ice for 10 to 20 minutes of every hour, taking it on and off during this time to avoid freezing the skin surface.
Applying heat is also suggested but only for certain cases such as in toothaches caused by muscle tension (TMJD). Do NOT apply heat when you have a tooth infection, tooth abscess or swelling. Heat may help spread the infection, expand the swelling and worsen the tooth pain.
If you have a cavity, or a fractured / broken tooth, or a filling or crown is damaged or lost, the dentin becomes exposed causing tooth pain. In some pharmacies you may find a temporary filling material to cover the damaged tooth and stop the toothache. If that is not possible you may try an alternative remedy covering the tooth with a piece of raw potato to isolate it from external stimuli that irritate the nerves.
Several other toothache pain relief home remedies have been suggested, using materials available in our home, natural herbs and essential oils. The most popular home remedies to stop a toothache are those involving the use of clove oil and tea bags. Many more can be found in the relevant page about toothache home remedies.
- Clove oil’s main ingredient is eugenol, which is used also by the dentists as a dental analgesic and anti-infective during filling or root canal treatments. Soaking a small piece of cotton ball with clove oil and placing it on the affected tooth for about an hour at a time works well in relieving tooth pain.
- Tea contains tannins that can help numb the pain and reduce soreness. For better results you should put a frozen tea bag directly on the sore tooth.
- Other remedies recommend the use of garlic, onion, vanilla extract, oil of oregano and many other.