Toothaches are the worst, and they tend to strike at the most inconvenient times. No matter how busy a person may be, the pain is tough to ignore. The best strategy is not to wait. See your dentist as soon as possible for dental treatment to stop the pain and prevent the problem from worsening.
Dental treatment for toothaches
Toothaches never occur out of the blue for no reason. There is always an underlying cause such as tooth decay, enamel erosion or gum disease. These dental problems won’t dissipate on their own in time. In fact, the affected area will only become more painful as the decay or disease advances.
Visiting your dentist when you first begin to feel discomfort is the best course of action for toothaches. Your dental care provider will take measures to ease your pain immediately, provide relief for the long-term, and address the underlying cause to halt any further damage.
Before you get to the dental office
Although ideal, it isn’t always possible to be examined by a dentist at the moment your toothache begins. From the time the pain starts to the time you actually make it to the dental clinic can seem like an eternity. There are some ways to temporarily manage toothache pain at home until you get to see your dentist:
- Non-prescription pain medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen may alleviate symptoms for the short-term. If you choose aspirin, take it internally only. Never rub it on your gums or on a tooth. It can cause damage to soft tissues in the oral cavity.
- Saltwater: Swishing your mouth with warm salt water will help clean out the affected area and remove loose debris. Depending on the cause of a toothache, it might also alleviate pain.
- Garlic: Garlic has anti-bacterial properties and is also known to temporarily relieve toothache pain. Apply a mashed clove of garlic to the affected tooth or chew on it. Your breath will be foul, but you might make you feel better for a little while.
- Peppermint or clove oil: Both of these natural oils have numbing properties. However, they are very strong and can potentially damage soft tissues in the mouth. Use with caution. Only use a small drop of oil on a cotton ball and apply to the painful tooth.
Always check with your doctor or dentist before using any of these toothache remedies, particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
The best remedy is to not wait
Toothaches only get worse the longer you hold off on seeing a dentist. At-home remedies are only intended to help you manage the pain for just a little while. They are by no means a substitute for proper dental treatment by a trained professional.