There’s no such thing as a good time to get a toothache, but it’s especially bothersome to come down with the pain when you can’t get in to see your dentist. So what should you do until you can get an appointment?
First, see if you can identify the cause of your toothache. If it’s the result of some sort of trauma, such as an accident or a hit to the face, you may need to head to the emergency room instead of waiting for your dentist. If your tooth is completely knocked out or if there is bleeding that you’re unable to stop, go to the emergency room. If your tooth is broken, loose, displaced, or if you’ve just got unexplained tooth pain, call your dentist. The symptoms can worsen if left untreated, so make an appointment to get a diagnosis and receive treatment.
Until you can see your dentist, here are some suggestions to control tooth pain:
• Rinse your mouth with warm water mixed with salt.
• Floss between your teeth gently to remove food particles that may be triggering your pain.
• Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol. Follow the directions on the package for adults or children, and don’t place the medication directly on your gums because it may burn them.
• Try rubbing an over-the-counter ointment or gel with benzocaine on the painful tooth and gum, or apply oil of cloves (eugenol) to the area. Both of these can temporarily relieve pain by numbing your gums.
• Hold a cold compress outside of your mouth near the painful site to decrease swelling and pain. This remedy is most helpful if the pain is a result of trauma. Don’t put ice directly on your skin and don’t use it for more than twenty minutes at a time.
Remember that these tips are no substitution for seeing your dentist or other health care provider. These home remedies are for emergency purposes to help reduce toothache pain until you can get professional treatment.