Toothaches and tooth pain are symptoms you may experience when the nerves in and around a tooth are irritated as a result of decay, infection or injury. Tooth pain may also occur as a result of a jaw issue or injury.
You can prevent most dental problems associated with tooth aches and pains by brushing and flossing twice daily, avoiding sweet foods and beverages, and visiting your dentist for a scale and clean every six months. Children can also receive fissure sealant and fluoride treatments for added tooth protection.
Toothaches at home
However, if your oral care is not adequate, or you have sustained an injury to your tooth, you may still experience a toothache at some point. When they do occur, the discomfort of toothaches and tooth pain are often experienced while you are at home.
If a toothache occurs outside of your dentist’s opening hours, you may have to deal with them on your own until you can get your toothache examined by a dental professional – but what can you do in the meantime?
Fortunately, if you are seeking pain relief and you can’t get to your dentist, there are a few home remedies that you can use to relieve toothache until you do.
Traditional home remedies to relieve tooth pain include:
- Warm, salty water – This traditional remedy can help reduce the intensity of a toothache. Try mixing a tablespoon of salt to a glass of warm water, and then gargle or rinse as often as required.
- Cold compress – You can use an ice or cold compress on the side of your mouth where the toothache is situated to numb the pain.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Try soaking a cotton wool ball in apple cider vinegar and press it onto the affected tooth. Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which may help to eliminate the oral bacteria that contribute to your toothache.
- Clove oil – This oil has amazing anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can reduce the severity of a toothache, though you may need to reapply it (via a cotton tip or ball) as the effects may be temporary. If you don’t have any clove oil handy, you can also use sesame, coconut, tea tree or sunflower oil instead.
- Acupressure – There is a specific pressure point that will miraculously release the pain from a toothache within a few minutes. You just have to find it. That point (called ST6 or “the Jaw Chariot”) is situated in the muscle that connects your upper and lower jaws. You can easily locate this muscle since it protrudes if you clench your back teeth. Once you have, open your mouth a little and apply firm pressure onto the point (on both sides of your face) with a thumb or finger for 1-2 minutes. Try this no-fuss, all-natural technique at the first hint of tooth pain.
- Over-the-counter pain medication – anti-inflammatory analgesics (e.g. Ibuprofen) are most suitable for tooth pain. Paracetamol is also helpful to reduce the intensity of a toothache. But beware, once they wear off, the pain may return stronger than before.
As previously mentioned, the methods of tooth pain relief listed above may only be temporary, but they can help when you are not able to see a dentist.
Book an appointment!
Avoid all sweet foods and beverages to prevent any further aggravation to the affected tooth, keep your head elevated on a stacked pillow, and arrange to see your dentist as soon as possible to find out what the problem is – then get it treated for good!