What Is The Best Cure To Get Rid Of A Toothache?
By Buttercup 7 Day Dental 17th Oct 2017
There’s no doubt about it: the one and only best cure to get rid of a toothache is going to the dentist. However, we understand that toothaches can strike at any time of the day or night and it isn’t always possible to get to see a dentist straight away.
If that is the case then read on. The advice in this article will keep you going until you get to see your dentist.
When you break it down, treating a toothache is a four step process:
- Find the cause
- Get the cure
- Go to the dentist
- Prevent more toothache
1. Finding The Cause Of Your Toothache
As I’m sure we all know, not all toothaches are the same. There are different levels of pain and different types of causes.
The first step you need to do before finding the cure to help tackle your tooth pain is to figure out where the pain is coming from and what might be causing it.
Here are some of the most common toothaches.
Cavities are one of the most common causes for toothache. A cavity is basically a hole forming in your tooth due to tooth decay from poor oral care or a bad diet.
The pain can range from mild and dull to sharp and severe. If left untreated, it can also cause tooth sensitivity and more permanent and unpleasant problems
Symptoms of a tooth cavity:
- Spontaneous pain occurring without any apparent cause
- Sensitivity to hot and cold or when you bite down
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth.
Tooth Nerve Pain aka Pulpitis
Pulpitis occurs when tooth decay and infection spreads past the outer layers of the tooth, infecting the pulp, which consists of nerves and blood vessels.
The infected pulp then becomes inflamed, swelling and causing pressure to build up within the root canal inside the tooth. This compresses the nerves and blood vessels which causes severe and sharp throbbing pain through the tooth.
Pulpitis needs to be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.
Symptoms of pulpitis include:
- Pain when eating or drinking hot or cold food/drinks
- Pain which is spontaneous and throbbing
- Tenderness at the tooth on touching and biting
- Pain that gets worse at night
- Pain which may be referred to head, temple, ear or jaw
A cracked, broken or chipped tooth from a trauma can cause mild to severe tooth pain depending on how bad the damage is.
If you cannot see the crack then the symptoms could be pain from chewing or pain when exposed to hot or cold extremes.
Symptoms of damaged teeth include:
- Erratic and spontaneous pain when eating
- Visible cracks or chips on the tooth
- Sensitive to temperature changes
Sinusitis and Ear Infections
Toothaches from sinus infections are due to the pressure that builds up just above your molar teeth roots. Pressure on your dental nerve endings causes pain in your teeth to be and also along with your jaw and side of your face.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Blocked or runny nose
- Cough and sore throat
- Throbbing pain or ‘heaviness’ behind the cheekbones
- Increased pain when nodding your head up and down
This is the infection of the supporting structures surrounding your teeth, most commonly your gums. Periodontal disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque so without practicing good oral care the plaque will build up and the bacteria will spread to the gums.
Gum infection can cause be swelling, reddening and tenderness of the gums. Along with bleeding and possible signs of erosion.
Tooth abscess are one of the most visible and horrible kinds of toothaches. An abscess is a collection of pus caused by a bacterial infection that can either form inside the teeth, in the gums or in the bone of the jaw.
They are often sporadically painful so they may not hurt all of the time. This makes it super important to look out for all the symptoms.
Abscesses won’t go away on their own and can cause serious illness if ignored.
Symptoms of an abscess include:
- An intense or throbbing pain in the affected tooth or gum that may come on suddenly and gets worse over time
- Pain that spreads to your ear, jaw and neck on the same side as the affected tooth or gum
- Pain that’s worse when lying down, that can affect your sleep
- Redness and swelling in your face
- A tender to touch, discoloured and/or loose tooth
- Swollen and red gums
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink
- Bad breath and/or a bad taste in your mouth
If the infection spreads, you may also develop a high temperature (fever) and feel generally unwell. In severe cases, you may find it hard to fully open your mouth and have difficulty swallowing or breathing.
2. Cures For Your Toothache
If your toothache is causing you a lot of pain, the best cure is see a dentist as soon as you can. A good dentist will be able to quickly investigate your symptoms and work out the exact cause of your pain. Once they know that, they can get you the correct treatment
Now, we get that you might not be able to get an appointment as quick and you would like. So, we’ve collected these safe toothache treatment tips you can try at home. While they won’t cure your toothache, they might reduce the symptoms and make it easier to wait until your appointment.
Brush, floss and rinse your mouth gently with cold water. This can help remove some of the trapped food that might be causing pain. It’s also useful for clearing out cavities and damaged teeth.
Rinse your mouth with hot salty water. This is useful for sore or infected gums and abscess as the salty hot water will kill off some of the bacteria and ease the pain.
Over the counter pain medication can dull the pain until you can see a dentist. Ibuprofen is best but you can use paracetamol instead. Always make sure you read the dosage instructions carefully and follow any advice from your doctor.
Soak a cotton bud in clove oil and place it over your painful tooth. This works well for tooth pain caused from cavities.
For a swollen face and sore gums, use an ice compress on the outside of your face to dull the ache. Normally, your face can swell with infected teeth or gums.
If you suffer from teeth sensitivity, avoid cold or hot foods and use some desensitising toothpaste and mouthwash before bed.
Keep your head in an elevated position, using pillows to prop your head up. Keeping your head elevated reduces the blood flow which reduces pressure on the sensitive areas.
3. Treatment At The Dentist
If a toothache lasts longer than one or two days, we recommend you seek a dentist as it is likely to only get worse.
A toothache is not a problem you can just ignore or self medicate yourself until it goes away.
Once you get to a dentist they will locate the issue, the cause and define a treatment route to cure it as best as possible.
While your type of treatment will depend entirely on your type of toothache, there are a handful of common treatments.
- If your toothache is caused by tooth decay, your dentist will remove the decayed area and replace it with a filling.
- If it is caused by a loose or broken filling, the filling will be removed with any decay and a new filling put in place.
- If the pulp inside your tooth is infected, there’s a chance you may need root canal treatment.
- If your toothache can’t be treated using any of the common treatments, it may need to be removed. Don’t worry, your dentist can provide a replacement in the form of dental implants.
Regular Checkups With Your Dentist
Make sure you don’t miss your regular checkups with the dentist. They are the experts and can tell you where the issues are, how to fix them and spot any problems before they get worse.
Keep up good oral hygiene
Yes, yes, yes. It’s a bit of a basic tip but remember to brush twice a day and floss between your teeth.
Drink plenty of water
Try drinking the recommended two liters of water a day — you’ll be amazed at the benefit it brings. It not only keeps your body and mind healthy but it helps your mouth, too.
By drinking more water you keep your teeth and gums moist, which helps produce saliva keeping the bacteria at bay.
Adjust your diet
We all know the foods we should avoid for good oral care — acidic foods, sugary drinks and so on.
Is the pain unmanageable? Check our recent post Dental Emergency: What To Do, Who To Call, Where To Go
If you have any other helpful tips feel free to leave a comment below. And don’t forget to share this post so you can help other toothache sufferers too!