Toothache- How you can deal with it

Tooth pain in both adults and children can be very distressing. A persistent toothache for many days in a child usually indicates a problem that requires professional care immediately.

The most common causes of toothache are cavities and gum disease. Short-term tooth pain can also occur with a bump to teeth and sinuses, ear and jaw problems can also cause pain that feels like a toothache.

Oral pain can be mostly be caused by a variety of some serious issues, including tooth decay, a damaged filling, a tooth fracture, infected gums or an abscessed tooth. If the latter has occurred, you could suffer serious complications if you have not taken immediate treatment.

These complications can include the loss of the tooth and supporting bone. In some cases, bacterial infections can spread to other parts of the body, leading to hospitalization or worse complications.

For these reasons, it’s important to seek emergency treatment if you show any of the following signs of an abscessed tooth which include red, swollen gums, fever, blood or puss, throbbing pain, swollen face or jaw, unpleasant taste in the mouth.

The obvious solution to any type of dental pain is to always see a dentist as soon as possible. But when you cannot get to your dentist right away, however, you may have to endure some amount of discomfort in the meantime.

There are some remedies that can help alleviate toothache in children and adults, but you need to see your dentist for any toothache lasting more than 24 hours.

The following tips can help you minimize tooth pain while you wait before going to see a dentist.

Warm Salt Water

Warm salt water is popularly used by many people and can be effective for many oral health problems. It may help relieve toothache and also reduce swelling around the sore tooth.

You can make the rinse by adding roughly a half teaspoon of table salt to a cup of warm water. Stir the solution and be sure the rinse is not too hot. Swish the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds and spit and then repeat this a few more times.

You can use this saltwater rinse every few hours if the pain continues to affect you. If you are giving this solution to your child then make sure your child spits out the mixture instead of swallowing it.

Ice Pack

You can use a cold compress to relieve pain you are experiencing. A cold compress, when you apply it, will cause the blood vessels in the area to constrict. This helps in making the pain less severe and also swelling and inflammation.

Also Read: Role And Importance Of Exercise To Treat Arthritis

For this, wrap an ice pack or small bag of frozen vegetables in a cloth. Hold the ice pack to the area of soreness for about 15 or 20 minutes and then remove it. If the ice pack provides relief, then you can use it every few hours.  Make sure that the skin completely re-warms in-between applications of the ice pack. Also do not put ice directly on the skin or the painful infected tooth.

Clove oil and garlic

Clove oil is a popular remedy for tooth pain. Clove oil can help soothe a toothache and numb the painful area of the mouth around the infected tooth. You can put the clove oil on a cotton ball and then apply it directly to the tooth to ease some of the pain.

Garlic contains allicin, which is an oily liquid and a natural disease fighter. Chewing garlic in some cases can ease your pain a little. You can try chewing a piece of garlic, or placing chopped bits on your infected tooth.

If none of the above tips are helpful then you can try over-the-counter medication. These may temporarily relieve your toothache pain. For children acetaminophen is suggested by dentists. For adults, ibuprofen and aspirin are recommended. Benzocaine which is a local anesthetic can also be applied directly to the affected tooth, following the directions on the package.

Tooth pain prevention

The best way to deal with a toothache is to always avoid it in the first place. You can reduce the risk of oral health issues by thoroughly brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once in a day. You should also eat a healthy diet and try to avoid sugary or sticky foods and beverages. You should also be careful not to chew on ice or other hard items that might cause a fracture in your tooth and cause oral health problems. And also schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups to maintain healthy oral hygiene.



Tags:  Toothache causes, Toothache at night, Acupressure for toothache

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.