A toothache can happen at any time.
It’s 10 p.m. You’re getting ready for bed, and you realize that your tooth is starting to bother you. What can you do? Thankfully, there are some ways you can help keep it under control. We’ve put together some tips for you below to help get you through until you can get to your dentist.
1. Inspect your mouth.
When a toothache strikes, the first thing you want to do is find the cause if possible. The first thing you should do is brush and floss your teeth like normal. Next, you should do a visual inspection of your teeth, gums, and mouth to see if you can find the source of pain. The pain could be caused by a cavity, an infection, a cracked tooth, a filling that has fallen out, or even a piece of food that is stuck between your teeth. You should take a close look at your gums, too, because if they are red and swollen, that could mean there is an infection there that is causing the pain in your mouth.
2. Give your mouth a good rinse.
After you’ve taken a good look at your teeth and gums, rinse your mouth with warm salt water. This will help thoroughly clean your mouth and rinse away any excess debris and bacteria. The salt itself is alkaline. Most bacteria thrive in an acidic environment, so the warm saltwater rinse helps balance the pH in your mouth and decreases swelling and inflammation in your gums, giving you some relief from pain.
You can also use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water to rinse your mouth with. To get temporary pain relief, use a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Take one part hydrogen peroxide and mix with two parts water. Swish that mixture in your mouth for about 60 seconds, then spit it out. Follow up with a rinse of clean water. The hydrogen peroxide rinse can help with inflammation.
3. Contact your dentist.
If you are experiencing tooth or gum pain, especially if it is sudden or severe, you should reach out to your dentist as soon as possible. When you place the call, give the dentist as many details as you can, including when the pain started, where the pain is, any issues you found during the visual inspection of your mouth, and what you have been doing to keep the pain at bay.
If you are experiencing extreme pain, you should give your dentist’s emergency line a call or visit the emergency room for treatment to rule out an abscessed tooth.
4. Use an over-the-counter or at-home treatment.
If you only have slight tooth pain, you might be able to get relief from an over-the-counter or at-home treatment. The most popular remedy is using an over-the-counter pain reliever, like Tylenol or Advil, which can help with pain relief and inflammation. You can also use a product like Orajel that can provide you with quick, direct pain relief. Just remember that cavities don’t heal themselves! So just because you don’t need the dentist right away, you should make an appointment.
If you have lost a crown or filling and can’t make it to the dentist immediately, many drugstores and pharmacies offer temporary tooth-filling kits. These kits are designed to cover sharp edges where a filling has fallen out or help protect a tooth with a missing crown. Remember, these kits are temporary, so you need to follow up with your dentist to have the temporary restoration replaced with a permanent one.
Contact Tomasik Family Dental.
Toothaches are never fun, and they always seem to strike at the worst times. Temporary care should never be used to avoid seeing your dentist. If you have a toothache, you should contact your dentist to get it checked out as soon as you can. The team at Tomasik Family Dental is available to help—just give them a call!