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The dull throbbing or sharp stabbing pain of a toothache can be very uncomfortable. It is your body’s signal that something is wrong and you need to act to eliminate the pain. But toothaches don’t always pick the best times to flare up. Sometimes you have to deal with the pain through a weekend, or a holiday, until the dentist can provide relief. There are, however, some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable while waiting to see your dentist.

If the pain in your tooth is extreme, call your dentist office right away.

When they are not in the office, most dental practices provide instructions on their answering systems on ways you can reach your dentist in an emergency. Once you and your dentist have discussed the issue, your dentist can provide advice on next steps given a dental emergency.

Identifying Tooth Pain

If your toothache is not extreme, there are a number of things you can do to ease your discomfort. First, gently brush and floss your teeth to remove any food particles that may have become lodged between your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash containing alcohol can disinfect and temporarily numb your teeth.

Try to pinpoint your pain trigger. Does your toothache intensify when you eat hot, cold, sweet or acidic foods? If so, avoid those sensitivity triggers until you can see your dentist. A saltwater rinse can also be effective in calming tooth pain. To make a saltwater rinse, mix a few teaspoons of table salt in a glass of warm water and swish it around in your mouth for as long as you are able.1 Make sure not to swallow the saltwater.

Do Over the Counter Medications Help with Tooth Pain?

Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol) and aspirin help to relive toothache pain. Do not place aspirin against the gum near an aching tooth as this may cause a burn in the gum tissue.2 Use these medications as directed. Another way to reduce toothache pain is by using Orajel or any over-the-counter numbing paste which contains benzocaine. Note that products containing benzocaine should not be used to treat infants or children under the age of 2.3

If you don’t have any over-the-counter pain medication or numbing paste, there are some home remedies that you can try. Chewing on a garlic clove has been used to treat tooth pain for centuries, as has cutting an onion and holding it inside the area of your mouth that is painful.4 A fresh lime or lemon, cut into small slices can also be applied to the painful area in your mouth. Lemons and limes are acidic so if that is a sensitivity trigger for you, try another remedy. These are not a cure but may provide temporary relief until you can see your dentist.

Causes of Tooth Pain

There are many possible reasons for a toothache. Grinding your teeth, especially in your sleep, is a common cause of tooth pain. Sinus issues can also cause tooth pain, as can an injury to the mouth or jaw or a cracked tooth. A loose filling, a decayed tooth and an infection in a tooth (abscessed tooth) or gum can also cause tooth pain. For those reasons, it is important to not ignore tooth pain that persists for more than 1 or 2 days or pain that comes and goes frequently over the course of several days or weeks.

It is always better to locate and fix the source of the pain in its early stages than to wait and possibly incur more complex remediation, such as having to have a root canal done on a decayed tooth. The Holidays are fast approaching so if you have any dental concerns its best to call your dentist and schedule an appointment.

Call Your Dentist

Sedki Dentistry located in Commerce Twp Mi is the perfect dental practice to address your dental needs. Our Commerce Dental Clinic is full-service offering dental treatments for tooth restoration, cosmetic dentistry such as dental veneers and invisible braces, children’s dentistry and much more! Our dental team is professional and compassionate, and the atmosphere is always warm and welcoming.

Dr. Sedki is an experienced dentist with vast knowledge in advanced procedures and is committed to the longevity of each patient’s healthy and bright smile. Call today for a Free Dental Consultation!