How To Handle Tooth Pain
If you have ever experienced tooth pain, you probably only had one thing on your mind at the time: relief. Toothaches can be excruciating, making it difficult to concentrate on anything besides the pain in your mouth. Tooth pain can make you irritable, cause sleep trouble, and hinder focus. So if you have a toothache, it’s essential to know what you can do to gain some relief at home and when it requires an emergency dental appointment.
What causes tooth pain?
If you are experiencing tooth pain, it’s time to give yourself some much-needed relief. However, it’s important to realize that these tips are not intended to be cure-alls. If left untreated, tooth decay can progress into the nerve, leading to hot and cold sensitivity, constant throbbing, or a painful abscess. But tooth pain can come on for other reasons too. The main causes of tooth pain are as follows:
- Infected tooth
- Transferred muscular pain
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Temperature sensitivity
A toothache is considered an emergency if your pain is severe or you’re experiencing additional symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, fever, or facial swelling. Pain combined with a high fever and facial swelling points toward an out-of-control infection. It is vital to get emergency dental treatment immediately. In these situations, call your family dental office or request an appointment online immediately.
Alleviate Your Tooth Pain With These 10 Tips
1. Apply ice.
Applying ice to the source of your toothache can help numb the pain. Wrap some ice in a thin dish towel and apply it to the affected area, holding it in place for 15 minutes at a time.
2. Try an over-the-counter medication.
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation, providing you with much-needed pain relief. We suggested alternating acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) every four to six hours per manufacturer guidelines for maximum pain relief.
3. Gargle with a saltwater rinse.
Mix a solution of one-half teaspoon of salt and one cup of warm water. Being sure not to swallow, swish the mixture in your mouth for 10 seconds before spitting it out.
4. Swish with hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide can be a great antibacterial mouthwash, especially when your tooth pain is caused by infection. Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with two to three parts tap water. Swish the solution in your mouth for 15 seconds and then spit it out. Be sure to rinse several times afterward with plain water to remove any residual peroxide. Do not swallow the solution, and do not have children try this remedy.
5. Elevate your head.
Elevate your head higher than the rest of your body to prevent blood from pooling in your mouth. This will not only decrease swelling and reduce your pain but will also improve circulation.
6. Try a peppermint tea bag compress.
Peppermint tea is well known for its healing effects, including swelling reduction. You can apply either a cold or warm tea bag next to your tooth. If you choose to apply a used tea bag, be sure to let it cool off before use so it isn’t too hot. If you prefer a colder sensation, place the steeped tea bag in your freezer for three to five minutes before application.
7. Rinse with a guava mouthwash.
Guava leaves are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and have antimicrobial traits that can help reduce tooth pain as well. Either chew on fresh guava leaves or try boiling crushed leaves in tap water to make a guava mouthwash. As with the saltwater rinse, swish the mixture in your mouth for 10 seconds before spitting it out.
8. Give a thyme mouthwash a try.
Thyme contains strong antibacterial properties. Create a thyme oral rinse by diluting a few drops of thyme essential oil in 8 ounces of tap water. Another option is to dilute thyme essential oil with at least an equal part of tap water and add it to a cotton ball, then apply the dilution to the affected area.
9. Apply a garlic application.
Though it might not be the most aromatically pleasing option, garlic is widely used for medicinal purposes since it contains allicin, a compound which accounts for its powerful antibacterial properties. Crush a fresh clove of garlic and mix it with a dash of salt before applying the mixture around your sore tooth.
10. Brush and floss your teeth.
Though this might seem a bit obvious, this step can be easily forgotten when you have a toothache. And though we are listing it last, this is actually one of the first things you should do if you are experiencing tooth pain. Food particles can easily get stuck between your teeth and gums, causing discomfort. So grab that soft-bristled toothbrush and give your teeth a gentle two-minute brushing. Follow up with a good flossing between all teeth to remove anything that might be trapped.
Prevent tooth pain with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to your family dentist.
One of the best ways to prevent tooth pain from occurring in the first place is by practicing good oral hygiene. This means brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing at least once per day, especially after eating. These habits will keep your mouth in great shape and help remove food particles that could have become stuck in the gum tissue. For an even cleaner feeling, rinse afterward with a fluoridated mouthwash to sweep those particles away.
But aside from practicing good dental habits at home, it is also vital that you visit your family dentist in Plano, Texas, once every six months. If you are due for a dental cleaning and oral evaluation and you live or work in the Plano area, now is the time to request an appointment. We look forward to seeing you.