Toothache Remedies: Here’s What Works and What Hurts
Nobody likes toothaches, but unfortunately, they still occur every once in a while. Whether you’re dealing with a persistent toothache or the occasional twinge of pain, it’s important to know how to identify and treat it. After all, the last thing you want is for it to worsen and impact your daily life.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different causes of toothache, different remedies to try treating it, and how to know when it’s time to call your dentist. We’ll also share some ways to help prevent toothache in the future, so you can keep your smile healthy and pain-free. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll have all you need to know to deal with any pesky toothaches, now or in the future.
Determining if You Have a Toothache
A toothache is any kind of pain or discomfort within or around the teeth and jaws. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the cause and severity of the infection or injury. Common symptoms include sharp pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods, pain when biting down on and chewing food, and difficulty sleeping due to constant throbbing.
At-home toothache remedies may provide relief from minor discomfort and many are safe to try without consulting a dentist. The first thing to do is to try a warm salt water rinse. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of table salt into 8 ounces of warm water. Rinse your mouth with this mixture for one minute, then spit out the salt water. Repeat as needed for temporary relief of minor toothaches or canker sores.
You can also try a cold compress. Applying a cold compress (ice pack) to the outside of your cheek near the affected area may help reduce swelling and numb the pain. Place a towel between your skin and the ice pack for protection. Do not place the cold compress directly on your skin and avoid leaving it on for too long; try a couple of minutes at first then rest and repeat.
Certain herbs also help ease tooth pain. Placing organic cloves or a tea bag filled with ground cloves on the affected tooth can help soothe the area. Many people have also used tea bags to help with the bleeding after wisdom tooth surgery.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin can also offer temporary relief from mild toothaches. Be sure to follow package directions and only use as directed.
When To See a Dentist
There are certain signs that suggest your toothache requires professional treatment from a dentist or endodontist. Intense or prolonged pain should be investigated by a dental professional, as should unexplained swelling around your jaw. Chronic bad breath can also be related to oral health issues, so it’s best to get checked out if you have persistent halitosis that doesn’t respond to proper oral hygiene practices like brushing and tongue scraping.
Depending on the severity of your condition, treatments may range from fillings to more serious solutions such as root canals and extractions. Your dentist will discuss the best option with you during your appointment.
Practicing proper oral hygiene is key to preventing toothaches before they start. Brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride-containing toothpaste, flossing every day, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash are all essential steps for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. You should also visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning, which can help in detecting potential problems before they become serious enough to cause pain or discomfort.
There are also a couple of dietary and lifestyle changes that can help you keep your teeth healthy. Avoiding sugary and acidic foods, as well as not smoking cigarettes, can help protect your teeth from decay and other dental issues that lead to toothaches. For athletes who play contact sports, wearing a mouthguard is also recommended to prevent tooth damage.
Toothaches can range from mild to severe, but they are typically all unpleasant to deal with. Fortunately, there are a variety of remedies you can try at home to help find temporary relief. When in doubt, it’s always best to visit your dentist for an accurate diagnosis and professional treatment. With the right preventative steps, though, you can reduce the chances of getting a toothache in the first place and keep your teeth healthy for years to come.