There are many ways to soothe a toothache, and which one is best depends on several factors. Some toothache relief methods are better for minor toothaches, while others are better suited to the severe pain from more serious dental conditions. It is always best for people experiencing a toothache for more than a couple of days to see a doctor or dentist to evaluate their condition. There are many things that can help relieve tooth pain until a dentist makes a proper diagnosis, however.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can help relieve pain and swelling from a toothache. Antibiotics prescribed by a dentist or doctor can provide toothache relief if it is a result of an infection or tooth abscess. Creams and gels that contain benzocaine and are made for mouth pain and toothaches can help numb the area, and provide instant relief in many cases.
Simple home remedies can often also help with minor to moderate discomfort. Rinsing with warm salt water or diluted hydrogen peroxide may help relieve tooth and mouth pain, and can be done many times a day until the toothache subsides. Sometimes a good brushing and flossing can provide toothache relief, if the toothache was a result of food particles stuck in the teeth or gums. Placing an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables against the cheek or jaw may alleviate pain by numbing the nerves in the area.
Herbal remedies and natural remedies can provide temporary relief from tooth and gum pain in many patients. Pressing a clove or swabbing clove oil against the sore tooth can help numb the pain. Swabbing vanilla, almond, or peppermint extract over the tooth with a cotton swab can also dull tooth pain. Chewing peppermint leaves or ginger root may also provide relief from many toothaches.
Many common foods can be a source of toothache relief. A chunk of potato, onion, cucumber, or lime held against the sore tooth may provide instant relief for many patients. Refrigerated foods often help numb the nerves around the tooth while dulling the pain, but sometimes sore teeth are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures. In such a case, the treating foods should be used at room temperature.
Most toothaches are caused by cavities and other forms of tooth decay. The best way to prevent toothache is through proper oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing. Regular visits to a dentist for professional teeth cleaning and full checkup are also essential to good dental health.