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What To Do When You Have a Toothache

What To Do When You Have a Toothache

A toothache can be one of the most painful, unpleasant and unbearable experiences you can have in your life. This is why it is imperative that you know how to deal with it.

However, it is important to determine the probable cause first. Unfortunately, oral pain can be caused by several issues such as damaged filling, tooth decay, gum disease, an abscessed tooth or a tooth fracture.

A toothache, if not addressed immediately, can potentially lead to serious complications including loss of the affected tooth and bacterial infection in other parts of your body.

Therefore, you would be advised to seek immediate dental attention if you experience or notice any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Swollen red gums
  • Throbbing pain
  • Swollen jaw or face
  • Pus or blood
  • Bump in the mouth

Seeing a dentist ASAP is certainly the best solution to dental pain. But if you can’t head to the dental clinic right away, dentists here at NOA Dental share the following dental health tips to minimize, if not eliminate, a toothache as you wait for a dentist to have a look at it.

7 Immediate Remedies for a Toothache

1. Apply ice or a cold pack

Get ice and rub it on your cheek until it gets numb. You can also grab a cold pack or a frozen vegetable pack to help minimize the pain and swelling. Studies have indicated that the application of a cold compress will reduce the pain signals from traveling to your brain.

2. Rinse with saltwater

Rinsing your mouth with saltwater will promote pain relief and help disinfect the oral cavity. You just have to add ½ teaspoon of table salt to eight ounces of water. After gargling using the mixture, be sure to spit it out. Then you can floss around the painful tooth gently to get rid of any food debris that may have gotten stuck.

3. Apply clove oil

Clove oil is a popular remedy for toothache because of its numbing effect. You can soak a cotton ball in it and dab it against the affected tooth and gums or rub clove oil over the sore area.

4. Garlic

If you crush a clove of garlic, an oily liquid known as “allicin” is released. This is known for its ability to fight germs and relieve pain. You can chew on a piece of garlic or perhaps place bits over the painful tooth. Take note, however, that this can result in a temporarily unpleasant odor.

5. Peppermint tea bags

Peppermint tea has numbing properties, easing the pain temporarily. For better results, consider placing the tea bag in the freezer first for several minutes before use.

6. OTC anesthetics

Apply over-the-counter anesthetics directly to the painful tooth and gums. These pain-relieving liquids and gels contain benzocaine, which can temporarily numb the area for quick relief.

7. OTC analgesics

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are among the more common and effective over-the-counter pain relievers to consider. The latter is considered a better option because of its anti-inflammatory properties beneficial for reducing swelling. If you don’t have any of these medications, you can take aspirin instead.

As always, be mindful of the contraindications in case you are taking prescription medicine, and be sure to check with your doctor.

Why You Must See a Dentist ASAP

In most cases, a toothache is a symptom of a more serious problem, which can potentially affect your overall health when left addressed. So once your tooth aches, kindly get a medical consult as soon as you possibly can. Take note that the longer you delay going to a dentist, the more serious the dental issue can become.

Once you are in the dental chair, your dentist will check your mouth to identify the cause of the pain. To get a clearer idea, you may be asked about specific details. These can include where it is located, when it began, what makes it feel better or worse, and how severe it is. If the cause is unclear, you may have to undergo imaging tests like dental X-rays.

Once the exact cause is identified, your dentist will provide you with treatment options. For cavities, all you need it a filling. For dental infections, you may be advised to take antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

But if the infection reaches the nerve of the tooth, you may need to undergo a root canal treatment. If this is not feasible, extracting the tooth is the last recourse. No worries, though, if you have to sacrifice your tooth because there are already procedures like dental implants that can be used to restore missing teeth.

Depending on how severe the dental problem is, you can receive the treatment instantly or perhaps wait for a couple of days. When the latter happens, you may have to take prescription medications to remedy the situation while you wait.

Keep toothaches at bay

Dealing with a toothache has never been easy. However, preventing it from happening in the first place is the best way to handle oral health. So make it a habit to practice proper oral hygiene, eat a healthy diet, and avoid doing things that can harm your teeth like chewing on hard objects.

Most importantly, visit your dentist at least twice a year, and not just when you suffer from a toothache. Routine checkups and dental cleanings are one of the best ways to detect problems early and treat them accordingly before they get any worse.

Need to get any dental work done? Drop us a line at NOA Dental; we’re here to help.