Of course, the answer to a toothache is always “see your dentist.” But this advice isn’t all that helpful when you can’t see your dentist right away and the pain is unbearable.
So what can you do to alleviate the pain and survive until you see the dentist?
Take Over the counter anti-inflammatory tablets
Alleviating the tooth pain, it’s all about controlling the swelling. Reduce the swelling and you reduce the pain. Short-term, the best way to reduce this inflammation is with the 3-3-3 method: three Ibuprofen (400 mg), three times a day, for three days.
Please note that people taking certain medications should not use ibuprofen. This includes aspirin, ACE inhibitors, blood thinners, corticosteroids, lithium, and methotrexate. With prolonged use of ibuprofen, you can irritate or damage your stomach, kidneys, and liver. There is a cardiovascular risk associated with it as well. You need to ask your pharmacist for advice if you are on any medication. It is not advised to drink alcohol while taking this pain reliever and it can cause liver damage
Don’t stop taking the anti-inflammatory tablets after 1 day or when the swelling and pain starts to subside. You need to keep taking them for 3 days.
Do Not Place Aspirin on Your Tooth
Call it an old wive’s tale or folk remedy, but there’s a common myth that placing aspirin on a tooth relieves pain. This is not true and can further damage your teeth. Swallow the pill as directed and the pain will subside soon.
Salt water rinse
Salt is a known to be a natural disinfectant as well as an anti-inflammatory, working to reduce bacteria levels in the mouth. Dissolve half a spoon of sea salt in a mug of warm water and rinse around the mouth for two minutes before spitting out. This is particularly helpful if your teeth are too sore to brush. The swilling action will help to ease pain and clear the mouth of any leftover food residue.
Clove is an essential oil that may provide pain relief as strong as benzocaine (The Journal of Dentistry, 2006). To use it, apply a very small amount to a cotton swab or piece of tissue and apply gently to the affected area. This works well if there is an exposed nerve due to a deep cavity. Specific placement of the clove oil is crucial for success—it will only work if you place the oil near the pulpal tissue (inside the cavity). A couple of drops of this pungent oil applied directly to the sore spot can set to work fast on toothache, thanks to its powerful healing properties. An ingredient called eugenol provides a hit of relief – a natural anaesthetic and antibacterial that can also reduce inflammation in the mouth.
The oil is usually easy to pick up in a local pharmacy or health store, but if you can’t find the liquid stuff, you can try placing a whole clove in your mouth, near the tooth that hurts, and biting down to release the oil within.
Garlic has been used to relieve toothache for centuries, and it’s all thanks to a compound called ‘allicin’ which acts as a natural antibacterial agent and anaesthetic. To reap the benefits, gently chew on a clove where you’re feeling toothache to release the healing juices.
Grab a Pillow
Keep your head elevated at all times. For sleep, stay elevated by stacking several pillows. When you drop your head to the level of your heart by lying down, blood supply gradients to your head change making swelling and pain worse.
Why You Need To See Your Dentist
In many cases, toothaches are just one symptom of a bigger problem that can affect your oral health and your general health if you don’t seek treatment. They don’t usually go away on their own, either. The longer you put off visiting your dentist, the more serious the problem could become.
When you visit your dentist for a check-up, they’ll examine your mouth to determine the cause of your pain and recommend the most suitable treatment. This may involve root canal therapy or a filling in the case of tooth decay and cavities, placing a crown over a damaged tooth, or treating your gums.