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A toothache can be one of the worst pains you will experience in your lifetime. When a tooth begins to throb and ache, it can inspire a manic desperation to ease that pain, to make moving about your day easier. The pain can get in the way of everything, including eating, drinking, and simply smiling. It can get to the point that the only thing you can think of is how to get rid of your tooth pain.
Fortunately, there are many ways to soothe tooth pain. There are effective home remedies and over-the-counter medication that work to diminish toothaches until you can make it to the dentist’s office. They range in method, so if one doesn’t work for you, another is bound to help ease the pain.
Here we have collected some information on what can be causing your tooth pain, and various methods of treating the pain. Hopefully one of these methods will work well for you.
There are many conditions that can cause tooth pain. A dentist will be able to identify the underlying cause and give you the best treatment moving forward, whether its surgery or a prescription. The most common cause of tooth pain is a cavity, or a hole in the tooth where the enamel has been worn away. Though often small, they can be quite painful. You can usually see a cavity on your tooth, as it looks like a black spot on your white enamel.
Some other causes include: a cracked tooth, an exposed tooth root, gum disease, or a filling that has come out. Sensitive teeth can also be quite painful when eating and drinking certain foods. Teeth can grow sensitive if the enamel on the outside is wearing away and the nerve endings have been exposed. There are toothpastes and rinses that can used to specifically treat teeth sensitivity.
Wisdom teeth can also be a culprit behind tooth pain. These teeth, situated in the far back of the jaw, usually do not come in until adulthood, between 17 and 21 years of age. Often they come in incorrectly, pushing and crowding the other teeth in your jaw. This can cause a lot of pain. If you believe your wisdom teeth are coming in, talk to your dentist and you can make plans to possibly have them removed. Wisdom teeth removal is a common experience and many have this procedure done in their adulthood.
Tooth pain can range from mild to severe. Even if the pain is mild and intermittent, it’s best to speak with your dentist to discuss possible issues that may have arisen. Ignoring mild tooth pain can lead to the problem growing worse and leading to more extreme oral pain. Home remedies and medicine can be used to alleviate pain while waiting for your dentist appointment or during the time after seeing a dentist and after a procedure. They relieve pain but do not substitute actual treatment.
A salt rinse is a great first step when trying to relieve tooth pain. You can create a rinse without even stepping out to the store. All you need is a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of boiled water. Swish the salt rinse around in your mouth and the combined effects of the salt and hot water will soothe the irritation and reduce swelling. After you’re done swishing, spit the rinse out into the sink – be sure not to swallow!
You can repeat this as often as you need until the pain is gone or you make it to the dentist. This treatment works great for mild tooth pain and irritation. It also works well for sore throats.
Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse
Hydrogen peroxide can be purchased at nearly any store with a pharmacy. You may already even have some in your cupboard. Dilute a cup of hydrogen peroxide with water and swish the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds before you spit it out. This rinse will kill the bacteria in your mouth and ease some of the pain you are experiencing. This works especially well if you have an infection in your mouth, thanks to the antiseptic qualities of hydrogen peroxide.
After use, rinse your mouth several times with regular water to get all the hydrogen peroxide out. Be sure to dilute the rinse and wash it all out of your mouth after use. Hydrogen peroxide is quite strong and not something you want to leave in your mouth for very long.
Cloves contain the chemical compound eugenol, a naturally occurring anesthetic. Therefore, clove oil is a useful substance when it comes to numbing pain. However, be sure not to just pour clove oil into your mouth and swish, as you don’t want to get a lot of this on your gums and tongue tissue. Two tiny drops on a cotton ball will do, touching the soaked cotton ball onto the area causing you pain. Hold it on your tooth until you feel the pain ebb.
If you have cloves but not clove oil, try grinding the cloves and mixing them with water or olive oil to create a solution. Apply this paste onto your tooth, and this should also effectively ease the pain you are experiencing. Chewing the clove might work as well, though it will not be as effective as clove oil or ground clove paste.
Lemon, Vanilla, or Peppermint Extract
Any of these liquids have been shown to temporarily relieve tooth pain. To apply these, soak a cotton ball or Q-tip with the extract and dab it gently onto the painful area in your mouth until the ache fades. Lemon, vanilla, and peppermint extracts will soothe the pain for a short period of time and can be applied again as needed for renewed temporary relief. Although this method works, it is not recommended to try these extracts with young children. The upside to these extracts is that they will taste more pleasant than some of the other remedies.
Effective Over-the-Counter Products
If home remedies either don’t appeal to you or aren’t cutting it, your next best option before seeing the dentist is a NSAID medication. NSAID stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and they are common over-the-counter painkillers that you have probably taken before for headaches. The best NSAID for a toothache is Ibuprofen, commonly advised by dentists for pain relief. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory painkiller and can be found under the guise of many different brand names – just check the box. Tooth pain is often causes by inflammation, which is why anti-inflammatories work so well to ease discomfort.
Another NSAID that works well for tooth pain is Acetaminophen, most commonly known by the brand name Tylenol. Although it works well for pain reduction, it is not an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen, so be mindful of that if you’re looking specifically to reduce swelling. Because there are many kinds of NSAIDs, see which work best for you, while also carefully taking the recommended dosage on the box. Acetaminophen in particular can be dangerous in large quantities. Doctors and dentists can also prescribe higher doses of certain NSAIDs in lieu of stronger painkillers.
Many over-the-counter products that are made specifically to reduce oral pain contain benzocaine. Benzocaine is a local anesthetic that numbs the area on which it is applied. The more benzocaine that is in the product, the stronger the numbing effects will be, so it’s important to check the ingredients to see the concentration of the compound beforehand.
Perhaps the most common oral gel containing 20% benzocaine is Orajel Oral Pain Reliever, which is a cream that comes in a tube that is applied directly to the area causing you pain. The product is designed for severe toothaches and provides immediate relief after application. The gel does not address the root cause of the tooth pain, but does abate the pain and discomfort until the problem can be addressed by a dentist. The product also contains menthol, which creates a pleasant cooling sensation.
Another similar product that can be rubbed onto your gums and teeth is Colgate’s Orabase, which also contains 20% benzocaine, the highest amount you can purchase without a prescription. There is also QuickStix Oral Pain Swabs, also containing 20% benzocaine, which are made to ease gum pain and discomfort from canker sores. These products are all designed to be used multiple times a day and are topical anesthetics that grant pain relief for extended periods of time.
How to Get Rid of Tooth Pain Wrap Up
Tooth pain is often a sign of a greater underlying issue and reoccurring pain should result in a dentist appointment to ensure that nothing serious is going on. Although it may take time to treat the underlying cause of the pain, there are ways to manage that pain for the time being. These home remedies and over-the-counter medications are effective pain relievers and if one doesn’t work well for you, another is sure to help numb the pain.
These products and rinses only provided temporary relief. However, they are effective when it comes to easing your pain and allowing you to go about your day normally until you can make it to the dentist.