If you are experiencing pain in or around your teeth and jaws, then you're having a toothache. The pain can range from mild to severe. Sometimes, a toothache can come and go. Sometimes, they're made worse by exposure to pressure or temperature changes. Regardless of its nature, pain is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. So, a toothache (especially a persistent one) should never be ignored. If you experience any type of dental pain, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. While you await care, however, the following home remedies for tooth pain can help you find some relief.
The Top 5 Home Remedies for Tooth Pain
1. Cold Compress
Swelling or inflammation are sometimes responsible for dental pain. Apply a cold compress such as a cold, wet rag or a bag of ice wrapped in a cloth to the outside of your mouth on the side where it hurts to help reduce the swelling and alleviate the pain.
2. Saltwater or Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse
Salt has natural disinfectant properties that can help to eliminate bacteria and reduce inflammation that could be contributing to your pain. It can also help to clean debris out from between your teeth. To make a saltwater rinse, simply dissolve about a half teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Rinse and spit out.
Similarly, hydrogen peroxide is a highly effective disinfectant. To create a hydrogen peroxide rinse, mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with three parts water. Swish and rinse out your mouth with plain water after. Do not swallow the mix! (It is not recommended to have children rinse with hydrogen peroxide.)
3. Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen can help to reduce the inflammation that sometimes causes a toothache. Be sure to follow the instructions on the labels for these medications carefully and check with your doctor first if you are taking any prescription medications.
4. Peppermint Tea Bags
Peppermint tea bags are a great, natural way to cool and soothe a toothache. Place a used teabag in the fridge or freezer until it is cool and then apply it to the targeted area.
Although it doesn't have the best reputation in the fresh-breath department, garlic does possess natural antibacterial properties that can help to kill pain-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. You can either slowly chew a clove of garlic, using the tooth that hurts. For a longer-lasting approach, crush up a clove to create a paste and apply that to the affected area. Add a small pinch of salt to improve the taste and increase the bacteria-fighting properties.
What Causes Tooth Pain?
Several different factors can cause tooth pain. Some of the most common include:
- Tooth Decay
- Foreign Debris
- Receeding Gums
- Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
- Dental Abscess
- Old Dental Filling
- Chipped or Broken Tooth
- Sinus Issues
What Is the Best Thing for a Toothache?
The best solution for a toothache depends on the underlying cause. While an at-home toothache remedy can provide some relief, these strategies typically do not address the issue causing the discomfort. As a result, home remedies are not long-lasting or very effective.
The best thing to do for a toothache is to schedule an appointment to see your dentist right away. During a dental examination, a dentist will look at your teeth and gums and talk with you about your symptoms and general health to determine the underlying cause of the pain. A dentist can then recommend a treatment designed to address the underlying cause, prevent the pain from worsening, improve your oral health, and provide lasting relief.
How to Prevent a Toothache
You can take some precautions to reduce the likelihood of experiencing a toothache. These precautions include practicing good oral hygiene by:
- Scheduling dental checkups every six months
- Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day
- Flossing at least once per day
- Using alcohol-free mouthwash to improve oral health and strengthen tooth enamel
- Eating a healthy diet
- Not chewing on hard objects or ice
For added protection, use toothpaste and mouthwash formulated for sensitive teeth.
Professional Tooth Pain Relief in Bloomington, Indiana
If you're experiencing a lingering toothache or another form of dental pain, we recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our dentists at Liberty Family Dentistry. During a professional dental examination, we can determine the underlying cause of your discomfort and recommend an appropriate treatment for lasting dental pain relief.
To learn more, we welcome you to contact Bloomington's most trusted dental care team at 812-339-2811 today.