Toothaches are terrible. The pain can range from mild to severe pain, and can be caused by cavities, loose fillings, a cracked tooth, or an abscess. Only a dentist can accurately determine what is causing a toothache. Home remedies may temporarily ease discomfort till you can get to the dentist.
What Causes Toothaches?
• Food getting stuck between your teeth, especially if your teeth have spaces in between them.
• Tooth decay or cavities.
• A dental abscess.
• The emergence of wisdom teeth.
• Trauma to the tooth, including cracked teeth, injury or grinding your teeth.
Over-the-counter pain reliever – Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen Sodium, or non-NSAID Acetaminophen. This can relieve swelling and provide temporary pain relief. It is the best form of short-term pain relief till you can see a dentist.
Saltwater – Mix a few teaspoons of table salt in a glass of warm water and swish it around in your mouth but don’t swallow it. The salt and heat may provide some pain relief, and remove any left-over food particles in between your teeth.
Avoidance – Avoid chewing food on the side where the pain is located. Avoid eating hard to chew foods — instead choose softer foods. Don’t chew ice. Brush and floss gently and follow with saltwater rinse after, but don’t swallow it.
Flossing – This might help remove any food particles that are stuck between teeth that can be the source of pressure and causing pain.
Over-the-counter antiseptic containing benzocaine – Benzocaine is a topical pain reliever for temporary relief. It can be used by adults and be given to children 2 years of age and older. Use only according to the instructions on the label. Benzocaine numbs the area to relieve a toothache when directly applied to the area.
Avoid very hot or very cold beverages and foods – Extremely hot or cold foods and beverages can irritate a toothache. Stick to room temperature or warm foods and drinks.
Certain foods are also known home remedies for toothaches. These include:
• Garlic – Chewing on a clove of garlic is a time-honored remedy.
• Onions – Chop a fresh onion and hold it inside the mouth.
Don’t hesitate to go straight to the ER if you have:
• Pain that persists for more than a day or two
• A fever
• Signs and symptoms of infection such as swelling
• Your eyes are swelling shut
• Trouble breathing or swallowing
Toothaches often will come back without treatment. Your dentist can address the problem and treat it to relieve pain and keep it from coming back.
The Best Toothache Remedy?
Prevention is the best way to avoid tooth pain and practicing good oral hygiene, including regular flossing and brushing. Regular exams and cleanings are the best way to avoid dental problems that can lead to toothaches.