Toothache Relief

Low-spirited short-haired lady experiencing an acute toothache
No question having a toothache isn’t fun. Whether it’s from decay or just that pesky popcorn kernel that keeps stabbing your gums. The good news, (in some cases) is that you may not even have to see your dentist, or even leave your home for that matter! From the best options to relieve pain, to quick fixes at home and all the way to possible emergency toothache relief situations, we can help guide you to a pain-free smile!

Table of Contents

What is the Best Pain Relief for a Toothache?

If you’re looking for the best pain relief for a toothache, it is always best to start by rinsing your mouth with warm water and flossing to eliminate any particles in your teeth. To dull the ache, your dentist may recommend anti-inflammatory over-the-counter pills, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Aleve will be great for a longer-lasting option as it lasts 12 hours. If the pain was caused by trauma, using an ice pack on your cheek is a great option. 

What are Some Natural Toothache Home Remedies? 

It is always best to see your dentist as soon as possible if you are in pain, but in the meantime, let’s get you a quick fix. One where you won’t have to leave your house, make an appointment, or even get off the couch. Okay, maybe you’ll have to get up off the couch, but hey, it’s better than going out in public when you’re in pain and probably not in the best mood. Here are some great home remedies.

  • Saltwater rinse – One of the best options for an at-home toothache remedy or fix is to swish warm, salty water around in your mouth. Mix half a teaspoon of table salt with 8 ounces of water. Make sure to spit it out, and not swallow it. Afterward, you can gently floss around the sore tooth to remove any bits of food that may be stuck.
  • Take a cold shower or an ice bath – Researchers believe that being in cold water helps stop pain receptors from sending signals to your brain. Cold water can help produce a numbing effect that eases the pain. 

When is it Time to Call your Dentist for a Toothache?

If you are in pain, you should see your dentist as soon as you can. From there, your dentist can give you a proper diagnosis to see what’s causing the toothache pain. Getting a quick diagnosis is good for you and can help get you a solution to stop the pain as soon as possible. It’s also good for your dental hygiene in case an infection is causing the pain. Quick action is vital for infections since they can spread to parts of your face and even your bloodstream. 

When is a Toothache an Emergency? 

Sometimes all it takes is to be uncomfortable or in a lot of pain for your toothache to be an emergency. If the pain isn’t enough for you to consider it an emergency, here are some things to look for that may tell you otherwise.

  • Swelling around the tooth
  • Your tooth being loose
  • Pain that lasts over 1-2 days

It’s best for you and your smile to contact your dentist when you are in pain. No one wants to be in pain, and most of the time, the correct dental hygiene can prevent you from future pain and infection. Well, unless that tooth pain is caused by getting hit in the mouth with a baseball or a potentially embarrassing faceplant. At least now you know some home remedies before your dentist can treat you. 

Toothache FAQs

A toothache is a localized pain or discomfort originating from the teeth or the surrounding structures. It is commonly caused by dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, tooth fractures, or infections. When the sensitive nerves inside the tooth or the tissues surrounding it become irritated or inflamed, it can result in sharp or throbbing pain. The severity of a toothache can vary, ranging from mild discomfort to intense agony, and it can be aggravated by chewing, temperature changes, or even by touch.

Seeking dental care is crucial to identify and address the underlying cause of the toothache, relieve the pain, and prevent further complications.

Various factors, primarily dental issues, can cause a toothache. One of the most common causes is tooth decay, which occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that erode the tooth enamel, leading to cavities. When these cavities progress and reach the inner layers of the tooth, they can irritate or infect the dental pulp, resulting in a toothache. Gum disease, caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar along the gum line, can also lead to toothaches. Inflammation and infection of the gums can cause pain and sensitivity. Tooth fractures or cracks can expose the sensitive inner layers of the tooth, leading to toothaches.

Additionally, dental abscesses, which are pus-filled pockets usually caused by severe infections, can cause intense tooth pain. Other potential causes include teeth grinding, dental trauma, sinus infections, or even referred pain from different areas of the face and head. Proper diagnosis by a dentist is essential to determine the specific cause of a toothache and provide appropriate treatment.

To alleviate a toothache, there are a few steps you can take. Start by gently rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater to reduce inflammation and cleanse the area. Use dental floss to get rid of any debris or food that has become lodged between your teeth and is causing you pain. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen, both available over the counter, can briefly ease discomfort. The affected area on the outside of your cheek can also be soothed by applying a cold compress, which will numb the area and lessen swelling. To locate and treat the root of the pain, seeing a dentist as soon as possible is essential. Professional dental treatment is often necessary to resolve and prevent further complications.

Depending on the underlying cause, a toothache may last short or longer. A moderate toothache may occasionally go away in a few days, especially if brought on by momentary sensitivity or minor irritation. However, if the toothache is due to a more significant issue such as tooth decay, infection, or gum disease, it is unlikely to go away without treatment. Toothaches caused by these conditions can persist or worsen over time. In general, seeking dental care promptly when experiencing a toothache is recommended to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment. Ignoring or delaying treatment can lead to further complications and potentially prolong the duration of the toothache.