A lot of people have heard about or tried a wide variety of home remedies for toothaches, but not all of them are exactly scientifically tested and proved. This is, of course, why the most effective way to end the pain is to call us and make an appointment.
The pain you experience in your teeth can be the result of a number of different things, from cavities and cracked teeth to loose fillings and infections at the gum line. On the other hand, you may simply have overly sensitive teeth that cause pain when you eat or drink certain things.
There are some things you can do to help alleviate these pains at home, and we’re talking about things that don’t involve a stream of over-the-counter pain medication. (If you’ve hit a level of pain where that becomes necessary, you should get into the office right now!)
However, not all of these remedies are appropriate for every toothache, so before you start to look for at-home remedies, give us a call and we’ll be able to point you toward the most effective of these solutions and make sure you’re not wasting time on something that won’t help very much.
Start With the Easiest Solutions
When you start feeling a toothache, start with a simple ice pack. Don’t put it against your tooth, though. Just hold it to the outside of your cheek. This can help bring down the swelling and reduce the pain associated with many toothaches. Try this first, and if it doesn’t seem to correct the problem, you can move on to one of these other solutions.
One solution for some short-term relief is an over-the-counter benzocaine gel. You can apply this to your tooth to alleviate the pain for a little while. Again, if you find it necessary to use these kinds of solutions, chances are there’s something we need to see. So use it so you can get in to the office where we can tell you what’s causing the pain. (And always be sure to read and follow any instructions that come
Remedies Already In Your Cupboard
You may have some items in your home that will help you deal with the pain of a toothache.
Swishing with salt water is a well-known remedy. All you have to do is dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of boiling water. Let it cool and swish with it for around 30 seconds before spitting it out. The salt water can clear out irritating debris and help reduce swelling.
You can also try a soothing tea. Peppermint tea, especially, has some numbing power that can help. Steep 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water for 20 minutes. Once it cool, swish it around your mouth then spit it out.
Some people even use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution as a mouth wash. This will help kill some bacteria and relieve pain. This is only recommended if the toothache is accompanied by a fever and bad taste in the mouth (which are signs of an infection). Do not swallow this mixture, and rinse your mouth with plain water several times after using it.
And remember, all of these solutions are just meant to be temporary – especially if there are signs of infection. Get in to see us as soon as possible so we can cure the problem rather than just treat the pain.
Dealing with Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity leads to a lot of reoccurring pains, generally when you eat something particularly hot, cold, or sweet. There are a lot of toothpastes out there designed to help desensitize your teeth, but there are some things you can do to skip the pain in general.
Sensitive teeth could be the result of genetics, teeth grinding, gum disease, aggressive tooth brushing, and exposed roots at the gum line. Whatever the cause, though, you can generally avoid a lot of the pain by changing to a softer toothbrush, avoiding acidic foods, maybe even wearing a mouth guard at night.
Treat the Problem, Not the Symptoms
Generally speaking, if you’re suffering regular toothaches, there’s probably an underlying problem that we need to look at as soon as possible. Whether it’s tooth decay or gum infections, the most effective way to get pain relief is to fix that problem rather than constantly trying to treat its symptoms. Try some of these suggestions, but make sure you let us know how you’re feeling.