That pounding feeling in the head, throbbing of gums and a sore mouth; are all symptoms of a toothache! Odds are that the pain is even getting in the way of your rest and sleep. If you are faced with a nagging toothache, here is help. Before we get to what you can do for pain relief, it will be worth looking at some of the common causes of toothaches.
Causes of Toothache
Toothaches can be caused by a number of factors including
- Injury – Toothache can be a result of trauma or injury to the facial area.
- Sinus – Tooth pain can also be caused by drainage from sinus infections.
- Tooth decay – Tooth decay causes nerves in the teeth to become exposed and causes toothache that is often excruciating. The nerve inside the tooth can also be exposed on account of losing a filling.
- Infection in the tooth – A pocket of pus in the tooth can lead to infection and pain.
- Wisdom Tooth – Eruption of wisdom tooth can cause pain as they break through the gums. They could also be pressing against other teeth and causing pain.
- Gum disease – Toothache can also often be the result of gum disease such as gingivitis.
- Temporomandibular joint disorders – TMJ is known to cause pain in the jaw joint as also in your teeth.
- Grinding your teeth – If you grind or clench your teeth at night, it could lead to pain.
Irrespective of the reason that you are having a toothache you should see the dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, the following remedies can offer you some relief.
Getting rid of a toothache
Use over-the-counter pain medication – The following OTC medication can offer you pain relief:
There are also several pastes or gels that contain benzocaine that can dull the pain. A word of caution here though- these gels aren’t suitable for children under the age of two.
- Keeping the head elevated – Make sure that your head is propped up. This ensures that blood does not rush to your head as that can aggravate the pain.
- Saltwater Rinse – Rinsing your mouth with warm, salty water can be of help. Gentle flossing can also help remove any bits of food that may be stuck around the sore tooth.
- Rinsing with Hydrogen Peroxide – Rinsing with a mixture of equal parts Hydrogen Peroxide and water can also help with inflammation and pain. Alternately you could also use mouthwash that contains alcohol to rinse your teeth.
- Cold Compress – Using an ice pack can go a long way in dulling the pain and allowing you the much needed rest. It will work best to apply an ice pack to the affected area for intervals of 20 minutes, and repeating every few hours.
Some of the other natural remedies for toothaches include
- Clove Oil – It is a natural antiseptic that reduces pain and inflammation. You could either rinse your mouth with it or soak a cotton ball in it and apply it to the area of the toothache.
- Willow Bark – It contains salicin that can help in reducing inflammation and pain relief. You can either apply willow bark powder to the area causing pain or gargle with willow bark tea.
- Peppermint Tea Bag – A cold peppermint tea bag when applied to the affected area can be of help. Alternately, you can add a few drops of peppermint oil to a cotton ball and apply it to the tooth.
- Thyme – The herb Thyme is known to have powerful antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Applying some thyme oil on a cotton ball and applying it to the affected area can bring pain relief. You could also add a few drops of thyme oil to a glass of water and use it as mouthwash.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic is known to contain Allicin, which has antibacterial properties. Chewing the garlic clove can help with the pain.
Pro Tip – While using any of these natural remedies do ensure that you aren’t allergic to any of the plants or oils used.
Do remember that while home remedies could reduce the intensity of a toothache, they won’t address the underlying cause. If the pain is severe or if it persists for more than two days, visiting a dentist is non-negotiable.
When should you visit the dentist?
If the toothache isn’t excruciating, you may want to observe it for 24 hours to see if it’s a minor irritation. Do not, however, delay seeing a dentist if:
- The pain is severe.
- The toothache is accompanied by fever or headache.
- You experience any trouble in breathing or swallowing.
Depending on what has caused the toothache, your dentist will propose an appropriate treatment. The dentist may take an X-ray to diagnose the origin of the pain and suggest treatment as below:
- In case of tooth decay, the dentist will clean out and fill the cavity in the tooth.
- If you have a cracked tooth, the dentist will either repair it or suggest a replacement.
- In case your toothache is caused by a sinus infection, the right antibiotics will control the infection.
- If there are signs of infection, the dentist may prescribe an antibiotic.
- If the pain is on account of TMJ, a mouth guard to prevent tooth grinding may be recommended. Other stress-reduction techniques or surgery may also be needed in some cases.
Better still you can reduce the risk of oral health issues by thoroughly brushing your teeth twice everyday and flossing at least once. Eating a healthy diet, avoiding sugary foods can go a long way in preserving dental health. Additionally, you need to be careful not to chew any hard substances that can cause a fracture in your tooth. Last but definitely not the least, regular dental checkups and dental cleanings can ensure that any issues can be caught early before they become painful.
We provide cutting-edge dental services while maintaining a smile on your face and building honest and lasting professional relationships. Book your dental appointment with us and smile on your way to good oral health! You can also reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (925) 846-4491.