The obvious solution to any dental pain is to see a dentist as soon as possible. When you can’t get to your dentist immediately, however, you may have to endure some discomfort in the meantime. The only thing you have in mind is to know how to stop tooth pain fast. The following tips can help you minimise toothache while you wait for your dental appointment.
What to Do for a Toothache
While your number one goal might be to eliminate tooth pain as quickly as possible, you need to consider the potential cause first. When our bodies experience pain, they send warning signals to our brains, telling them something isn’t right. If you have oral pain, it’s generally a sign you have a problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
A variety of serious issues, including tooth decay, a damaged filling, a tooth fracture, infected gums, or an abscessed tooth, can cause oral pain. If the latter has occurred, you could suffer serious complications without rapid treatment. These complications could include the loss of the tooth and supporting bone. In some cases, bacterial infections can also spread to other parts of the body, leading to hospitalisation or worse. For these reasons, it’s important to seek emergency treatment if you show any of the following signs of an abscessed tooth:
- Red, swollen gums
- A fever
- A swollen, red bump in the mouth
- Blood or pus
- Throbbing pain
- Unpleasant or salty taste in the mouth
- Swollen face or jaw
- Broken or severely chipped tooth
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, call one of our dentists immediately.
Tooth Pain Relief
Whatever the cause of your dental pain, it’s important to visit your local emergency dentist for an evaluation. That said, if you suspect a cavity or minor fracture causes your dental pain, you can use the following strategies to minimise pain until you can see a professional.
How to Relieve Tooth Pain
Desperate for a temporary toothache remedy? Suppose a serious underlying issue doesn’t cause your toothache, or you are waiting for an upcoming dental appointment. In that case, you can get toothache relief with over-the-counter medications, cold compresses and other at-home treatments. Read on for more home remedies for tooth pain.
Home Remedies for Toothache
Apply a cold compress.
In general, there are two ways to stop or blunt toothache pain. The first involves reducing inflammation, while the second centres on interrupting the signals from the injury to the brain. You can accomplish the first goal by applying a cold pack or bag of frozen vegetables to the side of your face for 20 minutes at a time. Just be sure to use a piece of cloth as a buffer so you don’t accidentally damage your skin. This can help alleviate discomfort by blunting pain and reducing swelling.
Take an anti-inflammatory.
You can also reduce swelling and blunt pain signals by taking an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen. If you do take ibuprofen, try to continue taking the medication every few hours, according to the product label. Avoid taking the medication once and then stopping when you feel relief or the pain and inflammation are likely to return. If you don’t have ibuprofen, you can take acetaminophen; however, while this will help with the pain, it isn’t an anti-inflammatory medication.
Rinse with salt water.
In addition to cold packs and over-the-counter medications, there are some natural ways to stop toothache. You can clean infections and promote temporary pain relief by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. Treating toothaches with salt water can also help heal oral wounds and reduce inflammation. Just make sure not to swallow salt water while you rinse.
Use a hot pack.
You can reduce discomfort by applying a hot pack to the side of your jaw. If you don’t have a hot pack, you can make one by filling a clean sock with rice and tying one end. Then, place the rice-filled sock in the microwave and heat it for a couple of minutes. The heat from the pack will help interrupt pain signals from your mouth to your brain.
Some research suggests that acupressure may reduce toothache pain by causing the body to release endorphins. There are specific key points on the body that are believed to be associated with oral discomfort. If you’d like to try acupressure, consider researching reputable internet resources for more information about these areas.
Use peppermint tea bags.
Generally considered safe, peppermint tea bags have mild numbing properties that can ease oral pain for a short time. Most people prefer to cool their tea bags in the freezer for a couple of minutes before use. You can also apply the tea bag while it’s still warm and then wait for it to cool. This can create a pleasing sensation to help take your mind off your toothache.
For thousands of years, garlic has been used for its medicinal properties. In addition to killing potentially harmful bacteria, it can also act as a pain reliever. To use garlic for toothaches, crush a clove to create a sticky paste and apply it to the affected area. Alternatively, you can chew a fresh garlic clove and spit it out afterwards.
Rinse with guava mouthwash.
Known for their anti-inflammatory properties, guava leaves also have antimicrobial traits that can blunt pain and sterilise oral wounds. You can either chew on fresh guava leaves or boil crushed leaves in water to make a mouthwash.
Use clove oil.
Used to treat dental pain throughout human history, clove oil can reduce inflammation and numb oral pain. It also contains eugenol, a natural antiseptic that can sterilise oral wounds. To treat a toothache or tooth sensitivity, apply a small amount of the oil onto a clean cotton ball and dab it on the affected area. You can dilute the clove oil with a few drops of water or add carrier oil if it seems too potent.
Try homemade thyme mouthwash.
Thyme has powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties. To alleviate toothache symptoms, you can add a few drops of thyme essential oil to water and make a mouthwash. You can also dilute thyme essential oil with a few drops of clean water and add it to a cotton ball. Then apply it to the affected area.
How to Stop Tooth Pain Fast
Sometimes over-the-counter medication and at-home remedies aren’t enough to stop tooth pain. When you’re unsure what to do for tooth pain, it’s time to visit a professional.
Emergency dental care is warranted whenever dental pain is too much to stand. If the pain is severe, use your dentist’s emergency care line. Otherwise, schedule an examination as soon as possible, so you can get pain relief and avoid further complications.
What to Expect at the Dentist
A dentist will first review your medical history and conduct an exam to treat your tooth pain. He or she will ask specific questions about your toothache, including when it started, where it is located, how severe it is, what makes it feel worse, and what makes it feel better. The dentist will then examine your gums, teeth, and other relevant areas. X-rays and/or other tests may be needed to determine the exact cause of the problem.
Once the dentist determines the cause, they will outline available treatment options. For cavities, you may need a filling. You may require root canal therapy if the tooth’s nerve is infected. If the area has become infected, the dentist may prescribe antibiotic medication to kill bacteria. Dentists will occasionally use phototherapy with a cold laser and other treatments to reduce inflammation and pain.
Depending on the seriousness of the issue, you may receive treatment immediately or a few days after your exam. If the latter occurs, your dentist may choose to prescribe pain medication to help you cope with discomfort while you wait.
How to Stop a Toothache Before it Starts
The best way to deal with a toothache is to avoid it in the first place. You can reduce the risk of oral health issues by thoroughly brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once. You should also eat a healthy diet, avoiding sugary or sticky foods and beverages. You should be careful not to chew ice or hard items that might cause a fracture in your tooth. Finally, be sure to schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups, so you can get treatment for minor dental issues before they become painful problems that demand expensive treatments.
If you are experiencing tooth pain, there are some things that you can do to minimise the discomfort until you can get to the dentist. Follow these tips, and you should start feeling better soon. And if your pain is severe or lasts for more than a day or two, please call us to schedule an appointment. We want to help make sure that your teeth get the attention they need as soon as possible.