One of the biggest challenges in dentistry involves toothaches. Many patients have to visit emergency dentists near them to treat a diseased tooth because of the intense pain it causes. If you have a toothache, chances are that you are not getting any sleep. The pain can be so excruciating that without treatment, the infected tooth disrupts your entire tooth. Still, what happens when you cannot get to a dental clinic in good time?
What Is a Toothache?
It is pain that results from a diseased or damaged tooth. In many cases, toothache pain is caused by severe dental decay that damages the inner layers of teeth, including the nerve endings. When the nerves thereof are affected, that is when you begin to experience the pain. Other than that, some other causes of toothaches include the following:
- Dental injury
- Abscessed tooth
- Temporomandibular joint disorder
- Foreign objects stuck between your teeth
- Gum injury or infection
- Teething – for adults, this translates to a wisdom tooth trying to erupt and break through the gums
How to Relieve a Toothache
The trick to relieving a toothache at home is to manage the pain until you can see a dentist. You cannot completely get rid of the pain as long as the infection is still inside the aching tooth. Different strategies work, depending on what you can access easily and how well your body responds to the approach. Here are some tips that should help you alleviate the pain as you consider seeking treatment as soon as possible:
- Over-the-counter pain medication – is the most convenient approach. Get pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen.
- Numbing pastes or gels – you can get them over the counter as is the case with pain medication. These pastes and gels only work for a short while, which may be all the time you need to catch some sleep before you see your dentist.
- Keep your head elevated – as you lie down, ensure that your head is not aligned with your body. This will ensure that blood does not concentrate in your head region, which will only worsen the pain.
- Cold compress – before you go to bed, warp an icepack with a cloth and place it on the cheek of the affected tooth. This will reduce blood flow in that area, as well as manage any swelling you have.
- Hydrogen peroxide rinse – hydrogen peroxide is not only useful for whitening teeth. It can kill bacteria in your mouth and also alleviate toothache pain. It will also help deal with inflammation, hence reducing swelling while relieving pain. However, be careful to dilute your rinse properly. Use equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water to make your rinse. Swish it in your mouth and spit it out. Do not swallow the rinse.
- Mouthwash containing alcohol – if you rinse your mouth with a mouthwash containing alcohol, it will disinfect your mouth from any active bacteria. Not only that, but the mouthwash will also numb your mouth for a while so you can rest.
- Garlic – has been known to have many health benefits but is also useful as a pain reliever. Chew on a garlic clove slowly, on the side of the affected tooth. Alternatively, you can crush a clove of garlic and add a pinch of salt to form a paste. Apply this paste to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Vanilla extract – it contains alcohol which will be great for numbing the pain. Use a cotton swab or cloth to dab a small amount of vanilla extract on the affected tooth to manage your pain.
- Saltwater rinse – while you may not have any of the above items in your house, you will definitely have salt. Make a salt rinse by using a pinch of salt and mixing it with a glass of warm water. The salt will act as a disinfectant while dislodging any food debris in between your teeth.
- Peppermint tea bags – they will numb your pain but also soothe your sensitive gums. After taking your tea, allow the tea bag to cool off before placing it on the ailing tooth.