For many, a toothache can be a fate worse than death. Some people would rather have open heart surgery than visit a dentist. To add insult to injury, toothaches have a habit of starting late at night or over a weekend. Furthermore, they don’t start off at a manageable level of discomfort. Toothaches seem to arrive with all guns blazing and the pain is immediate. It’s bad enough for adults to cope with, therefore we really do feel for the kids. Of course, a toothache for an adult is a far more ominous sign that our mouths and our teeth have capitulated to years of wear and tear. In some cases, the problem is likely to be serious and the treatment dreadful, like having root canal surgery or even worse. That is if there is anything worse.
What Can I Do to Make a Toothache Go Away?
What is a toothache?
A toothache is the first indication that a tooth has a problem. Sometimes the pain is intermittent or only happens when we bite into food. A severe toothache is often accompanied by red, sore, and swollen gums around the tooth. A bad taste in your mouth, headache, or fever may be an indication that your gum or tooth is infected. As always, see a dentist for proper dental care if the pain persists. For more short-term/immediate relief it’s off to the drug store or pharmacy, usually the late-night ones.
- Abscessed tooth
- Tooth fracture (broken tooth)
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Infected gums
- Tooth removal
- Damaged filling
- Jaw pain
- Tooth decay
What to take for a toothache
There are mainly three courses of action for treating a toothache:
OTC – Over-the-counter medication (unless you have a prescription).
Natural remedies – These are drug-free.
Home remedies – Traditionally made with ingredients available at home.
Ibuprofen, Myprodol, Asprin, and Paracetamol all provide temporary relief from a toothache by calming the symptoms and providing pain relief. These types of pain relievers are only good for relieving mild to moderate pain, however. Ibuprofen will also reduce inflammation and swelling. For anything stronger, a prescription is required.
OTC: Relieving gel
Gels are very useful, especially for the little ones. However, that is if you can apply a gel to their gums without losing your fingers. Orajel and Bonjela are over-the-counter products available in different configurations for adults and kids. Ask the pharmacist to go through the ingredients with you first before buying them. Gels provide relief by numbing the affected area, easing symptoms, and tooth pain.
Natural remedies: Clove oil
Clove oil is a natural product and drug-free option. Clove oil contains a natural anesthetic called Eugenol which contains spice. It is the spice that actually helps to ease the soreness, swelling, and pain caused by a toothache. To use clove oil, drip a few drops on a cotton ball and place it on the affected area for a while. Clove oil can be bought over the counter.
Home remedies: Saltwater
Saltwater has been used since before modern pharmaceuticals, so perhaps there is something to it. Whilst it may not ease pain, a saltwater rinse will definitely clean the affected area. However, saltwater is not a good home remedy for children. For maximum effectiveness, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of boiling water/warm water and allow it to cool. Then, rinse your mouth with the saltwater completely for a minimum of thirty seconds, then spit. Don’t swallow.
Home remedies: Cold compress
For swollen and sore gums apply a cold compress. To do so, use a tea towel wrapped around the cold pack to help ease and reduce swelling. Apply it to the affected area cautiously because your tooth or an exposed nerve will be highly sensitive to the ice and it could worsen the pain.
See a Dentist
All the above medications and remedies are suggested for temporary relief. If you have had toothache pain for two days or painkillers aren’t helping, the swelling and bad taste are getting worse, and if you have a toothache and a temperature, visit an Omaha dentist. Yes, even if you would prefer to visit the open heart surgeon instead.
Additional Reading: Antibiotics Not Necessary for Most Toothaches, According to New ADA Guideline
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