We’ve all been there. It’s the middle of the night, you’re lying in bed, and suddenly a sharp pain shoots through your mouth. You try to ignore it, but it only gets worse. Soon enough, the pain becomes unbearable, making it impossible to sleep or focus on anything else.
Toothaches are one of the most common dental problems, and they can strike at any time, mostly when you are least expecting them. But what can you do when a toothache strikes and you can’t get to a dentist right away? Fortunately, there are several ways to get emergency toothache relief at home, using simple remedies that you may already have on hand. In this blog post, we’ll share 10 effective ways to soothe your toothache, so you can get some much-needed relief until you are finally able to see your dentist.
What Causes a Toothache?
Toothache is an indicator of an underlying problem with your teeth or gums, and it can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Tooth decay is the most common cause of toothache, and it occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that erode the enamel; the hard outer layer of the tooth. As the decay progresses, it can expose the sensitive inner layers of the tooth to bacteria and cause cavities, which can lead to toothache.
Old age, periodontal disease and some other medical conditions can lead to tooth loss. When it happens, the bone and gums that support the tooth can begin to shrink or recede, exposing the sensitive roots of nearby teeth and causing tooth sensitivity or pain.
Accidents or injuries to the face, teeth, or jaw can cause the teeth to become cracked, chipped or dislodged, resulting in pain and sensitivity. The trauma can also damage the surrounding tissues, such as the gums, tongue, or cheeks, which can also cause pain or discomfort.
Grinding teeth, also known as bruxism, can cause toothache by putting excessive pressure on the teeth and jaw. Additionally, chronic grinding can wear down the enamel of the teeth, exposing the sensitive dentin layer and causing further tooth sensitivity and pain.
Damaged Filling or Crown
When a filling or crown becomes damaged or dislodged, the sensitive inner layers of the tooth can be exposed and cause pain and discomfort. The damaged restoration can also cause pressure on the tooth, resulting in further sensitivity and pain.
This is a painful infection that occurs when bacteria invade the tooth and surrounding tissues, causing a buildup of pus and pressure, ultimately leading to a toothache. The pain from a dental abscess can be severe and persistent, and may even radiate to other areas of the face and neck.
10 Ways to Get Emergency Toothache Relief at Home
If you’re dealing with a toothache, you’re likely searching for a fast and effective solution to help you get through the discomfort. Luckily, several tried-and-tested emergency toothache relief home remedies can help alleviate your pain and sensitivity.
Apply a cold compress
If you have swollen gums or sustained a mouth injury, applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and numb the pain. You can use a cold pack or wrap some ice cubes in a towel and apply it to the outer side of your cheek for about 15 minutes.
Take an anti-inflammatory
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce pain and inflammation. Make sure to follow the recommended dosage on the label and avoid prolonged use of these medications.
Rinse with salt water
Saltwater rinses are great for oral health as they help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. You can repeat the process as many times as you want.
Use a hot pack
Applying heat to the affected area can help increase blood circulation, which can reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief. Heat can also help soothe sore muscles that may be contributing to toothache. You can use a hot water bottle or a heating pad, but make sure to wrap it in a towel to avoid burning your skin.
Applying pressure to certain points on your body, such as your hand or ear, can help alleviate toothache pain. Look up acupressure points for toothache and try applying pressure on those points for a few minutes.
Use peppermint tea bags
Peppermint tea bags can be used to alleviate toothache due to peppermint’s natural pain-relieving properties. Steeping the tea bag in hot water, and then allowing it to cool down before placing it on the affected tooth can help to numb the area. Alternatively, applying a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and placing it on the affected area can also provide relief.
Allicin in garlic has great antibiotic and antimicrobial properties that can kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. Crush a fresh garlic clove to release its juices, then apply it to the affected tooth. You can also chew it for a few minutes to get relief from the pain.
Rinse with a guava mouthwash
Guava leaves contain natural antimicrobial properties and can help counter inflammation. Boil a handful of guava leaves in water for about 15 minutes, then let it cool down before using it as a mouthwash.
Use clove oil
Clove oil is one of the most popular home remedies for toothaches due to its natural analgesic and antiseptic properties. Apply a small amount of clove oil to a cotton ball and place it on the affected tooth for a few minutes to get rid of the pain.
While clove oil is generally considered to be safe for most adults, it is not recommended for children under the age of 2, as it can be toxic if ingested or applied in excessive amounts. For children over the age of 2 as well as pregnant or breastfeeding women, it is best to consult with their healthcare provider before using clove oil for toothache relief.
Try a homemade thyme mouthwash
Thanks to its natural antiseptic properties, thyme can help kill bacteria. Steep a handful of thyme leaves in boiling water for about 10 minutes, then let it cool down before using it as a mouthwash.
How to Avoid Emergency Toothache
Maintaining good oral hygiene and adopting healthy habits can go a long way in preventing dental problems such as toothaches. By following a few simple oral care practices, you can reduce your risk of experiencing emergency toothaches.
Flossing is a great way to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under your gum line, where your toothbrush cannot reach. It can help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems that may lead to toothaches.
Brushing your teeth at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste can help remove plaque, bacteria, and food particles, minimising the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces.
Avoid sugary foods
Eating sugary and starchy foods can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Therefore, limit your consumption of sugary drinks and snacks, and choose healthier options like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Visit your Dentist
Regular dental checkups can help detect and prevent dental problems before they become serious. Your dentist can also provide professional cleanings, fluoride treatments, and other preventive care to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Is Toothache a Dental Emergency?
A toothache can be considered a dental emergency if the pain is severe and accompanied by swelling, fever, or other symptoms. It is crucial to seek prompt dental care if you have a toothache that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medication or home remedies, or if you have any signs of infection such as fever or swelling. A dentist can diagnose the cause of your toothache and provide appropriate treatment to alleviate your pain and prevent further complications.
Never Ignore Toothache – Seek Prompt Dental Care
If you are dealing with a toothache that won’t go away or resurfaces after every few days, it clearly indicates that you want to see a dentist. At The Dental Family Beaumaris, our toothache emergency dentist can diagnose the underlying cause of your toothache and provide appropriate treatment to relieve your pain.
Don’t ignore a toothache or any other dental problem. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and receive the dental care you need.