Tips for Managing a Toothache

SOMETIMES WHEN WE get a toothache, there are hours or more standing between us and the help of the dentist or endodontist. Here...

SOMETIMES WHEN WE get a toothache, there are hours or more standing between us and the help of the dentist or endodontist. Here are a few easy home remedies to make that time as pain-free as possible.

Salt Water or Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Swish warm salt water. Salt water is excellent for fighting an infection. It reduces inflammation, fights bacteria, and speeds up healing. Simply add half a teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water and stir. Just make sure to spit it out instead of swallowing it!

As an alternative to salt water, rinse with a solution of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Rinse thoroughly and spit it out. Don’t swallow hydrogen peroxide!

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed. Dentists recommend acetaminophen for children. For those who prefer aspirin for pain relief, only swallow it. Do not apply it directly to the sore area. This particular folk remedy can actually do more harm than good to the inside of the mouth. Pain-relieving gels like benzocaine can help by numbing the area for a short period. Another option that works a similar way is clove oil, which can be rubbed directly on the painful area.

Cold Compress

In the first 24-36 hours of a toothache, a cold compress can be wonderful, especially if one cheek is swollen. The swelling could also mean you have an abscess, which is a compartment of pus around an infected dental root. An abscess can cause serious infection in your jaw and other teeth. Signs include fever and red gums. Ice against can also help. Holding an ice cube against the gums numbs the area.

Herbal Pain Management

There are a few alternative remedies to try aside from these standard options, They aren’t proven to work and certainly won’t make the underlying problem go away, but they may help it feel better in the short term.

  • Garlic: crushing a garlic clove releases an oily liquid called allicin, which is a natural disease fighter. Chewing a piece of garlic or placing chopped bits on your tooth is safe to try.
  • Toothache plant: with a name like that, this one sounds promising, and the oil is an ingredient in many products. It isn’t clear that it actually eases dental pain, however.
  • Vanilla extract: this kitchen ingredient contains alcohol that can numb the pain and antioxidants that can promote healing. A small amount on the aching tooth and gum may help.
  • Peppermint tea: placing a cooled peppermint tea bag against your aching tooth and gums can be soothing. Peppermint contains small amounts of menthol, a key ingredient in many cooling pain relievers.

Come See the Endodontist as Soon as Possible

No home remedy is a long-term substitute for necessary endodontic treatment. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, either go to the general dentist, who may refer you to us if the problem needs root canal therapy or schedule an appointment with us directly. Don’t hesitate; endodontic problems don’t go away on their own!

Root canal therapy removes tooth pain for good!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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