If you have ever experienced a toothache, you already know that the pain can be excruciating. Sometimes a toothache presents as a dull ache, while other times the pain can be throbbing. Both are signs you should contact your dentist to correct the problem. While you wait to get into the dentist (even if it is only for a few hours), you will likely need something to dull the pain. Try these home remedies for quelling the pain of a toothache until you see your dentist.
- Ice Packs—Even though extreme temperatures often increase the pain from a toothache, you may be surprised to discover that an ice pack on the side of the face may relieve your tooth pain. The cold pack will reduce swelling and numb the pain for many people.
- Salt and Water—Dissolve salt in warm water and swish it gently around the tooth for 30 seconds or more. The salt helps to clean the area and prevent infection while drawing out some of the fluid that is causing inflammation and swelling. You will need one teaspoon of salt per cup of warm water. Rinse your mouth as often as necessary to relieve pain.
- Cayenne and Ginger—Grind or mince fresh ginger and mix it with equal amounts of cayenne pepper. Add enough water to form a paste. Saturate a cotton ball with the mixture and apply it directly to the tooth. Avoid contact with your tongue and lips, as this mixture can get hot and may irritate sensitive skin. Capsaicin, the main ingredient in cayenne, is often used in arthritis and muscle pain rubs to alleviate pain.
- Tea—Both peppermint and black teas can be used to calm toothache pain. For peppermint tea, brew a cup and let it cool slightly. Swish the tea in the mouth before swallowing to take advantage of its pain-killing effects. Black tea can also be used, but for this remedy you will want a cooled tea bag to hold against the sore tooth. The tannins in the tea are thought to ease pain.
- Clove Oil—The active ingredient in clove oil, eugenol, works as a natural anesthetic and numbs the area. Place a few drops of clove oil onto a cotton ball and place it on the tooth. Repeat as necessary to keep the pain under control.
- Garlic—Minced or crushed garlic applied directly to the tooth will provide temporary relief from tooth pain. The good news is you can repeat this as often as necessary, but the bad news is you may start smelling like you are trying to ward off vampires.
- OTC Pain Medication—Both acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used to alleviate tooth pain until you get to the dentist. Because the two drugs work differently, you may find it most effective to alternate them to get the maximum effects from both.
- Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth—This is available in the pharmacy or cosmetic section and comes in a variety of brands. It works to reduce tooth pain. Use a soft bristled brush and use the toothpaste at least twice a day.
- Pain Relief Gel—This is also sold in the pharmacy by a variety of names. It is designed to relieve the pain associated with toothaches and mouth sores. Follow the instructions on the package for applying the gel.
You may find one or more of these remedies works well for you, but remember, these remedies are not meant to be a long-term solution to tooth pain. Make an appointment with your dentist office as soon as possible to get your painful tooth examined. Your dentist can advise you of proper dental care to prevent future issues with toothaches or tooth pain.