A sudden toothache can be very painful. It can prevent you from talking, chewing, eating or drinking, and can even keep you up at night. If you’re reading this article, your toothache is probably bad enough that you’re looking for emergency toothache relief. We’ve put together a list of some measures you can take to soothe a bad toothache immediately.
Note that if you’re experiencing swelling in your face or having trouble swallowing or breathing, see an emergency dentist immediately.
Emergency Toothache Relief Guide: What To Do
- Rinse your mouth with saltwater. A warm cup of water with a teaspoon of salt mixed in can effectively reduce swelling and inflammation and may relieve some pain. Swish for 30 seconds to a minute and spit out.
- Take an NSAID. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are effective at reducing inflammation and can relieve your pain significantly. They’re available over the counter at any pharmacy. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) are examples.
- Use a tooth-numbing gel. Available at any pharmacy, medicated anesthetic gels can numb the painful area, providing much-needed relief. Look for gels that contain anesthetic ingredients such as lidocaine (Xylocaine) or benzocaine (Oragel).
- Use an ice pack. Cold temperatures can constrict blood vessels in the painful area and soothe the pain. Wrap some ice in a towel or use an ice pack, applying it to the face or jaw for 15 minutes at a time.
What Not To Do
To avoid making your toothache worse, it’s necessary to avoid a couple of things:
- Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoke is proven to lead to tooth decay and exposes your teeth to sticky nicotine, which can irritate and inflame sensitive areas.
- Don’t use chewing tobacco. Tobacco use can expose your teeth to toxic chemicals that can worsen toothaches through inflammation and irritation.
- Avoid very hot or cold foods and drinks. Extreme temperatures can irritate sensitive teeth and make the toothache worse.
- Avoid granular, hard, or crunchy foods. Eating hard or crunchy foods can cause further damage to your teeth. Particles from foods like nuts, seeds, chips, and granola can get stuck in your tooth and cause further pain.
- Avoid sticky or acidic foods. Chocolate, caramel, and other sticky foods can cause severe pain if they stick to the wrong area and can be difficult to chew and remove. Coffee and tea are acidic and astringent, drying out the mouth and causing more pain.
- Don’t brush or floss too hard. It can damage your teeth and gums and cause wear and tear on the sensitive tooth, particularly if layers underneath the enamel are exposed.
What Can Cause A Toothache?
Toothaches can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as:
- Facial injury or trauma
- Tooth decay or cavities
- Bruxism (tooth grinding)
- Periodontal disease
- Tooth impaction
The Final Word: See A Dentist ASAP
Any toothache is a sign that you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. They have the necessary expertise to diagnose and treat your toothache appropriately.
Dynamic Dental Solutions is your premier family dentistry option in Baytown, TX. We provide exceptional dental services and care for all patients of all ages. Because of this, we’re proud to be a complete solution to all of your dental concerns. So, if you have any questions about your oral health, feel free to give us a call at (281) 837-9090.