If a toothache strikes when you can not see your dentist – like in the middle of the night – you may feel desperate to relieve the pain. For temporary relief, consider trying one of these toothache home remedies.
1. Cold Compresses
If your toothache is associated with swelling, holding a cold compress against the outside of your cheek (20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off) may provide some relief. Cold helps numb the area, which can relieve tooth pain; it also helps reduce swelling and inflammation.
Cold compresses may offer temporary relief and help you fall back asleep, but they will not address the root cause of your toothache. If you have a cavity or another dental problem, it won't get better until you see your dentist.
2. Clove Oil
Clove oil can be used to temporarily reduce pain and swelling that comes with the toothache. For this homemade remedy, dip a cotton ball in clove oil and soak up a few drops. Gently rub the cotton ball over the sore area of your tooth and gums.
Clove oil contains eugenol, a natural anaesthetic which is why clove oil helps with in reducing the intensity of toothache; however, it will not cure the underlying problem. Clove oil also tastes bad, so this remedy may be an unpleasant one to try.
3. Salt Water Rinses
If your tooth hurts and your gums are swollen, rinsing your mouth with warm, salt water may offer some relief. Add a couple teaspoons of salt to a cup of warm water. Swish the mixture around your mouth and then spit it out.
While both hot and cold water can be uncomfortable when you have a toothache, warm water is soothing. The warm water helps ease the pain, and the salt helps to reduce the swelling in your gum tissue. Again, these effects are only temporary.
4. Tooth Pain Medications
To cope with the pain of a toothache, you can take an over-the-counter pain medication according to the package directions. It is important that you do not hold the medication against your sore tooth, since this can cause an inflammation (reddish patch like reaction) the nearby gum tissue and lead to further discomfort.
Pain medications can keep you comfortable while you are waiting for your dentist appointment, but like other home remedies, they are not a long-term solution. Medications only help relieve the pain, a treatment is necessary to cure it and be free from the medicine dependent toothache problem.
When to See a Dentist
The Indian Dental Association recommends having your toothache evaluated immediately by a dentist, so make an appointment right away. Dentists often leave time slots available for emergency patients, so you may be able to get a same-day appointment. If you have any symptoms of a tooth abscess – like a fever, facial swelling or incessant pain in your tooth – and can't be seen by your dentist, visit the nearest dental clinic and seek for advice.
While several dental conditions can cause toothaches, cavities are one of the top reason. Fortunately, there are many things you can do at home to protect your teeth from cavities aside from the toothache home remedies. Brush your teeth twice per day and always remember to floss!
It is also important to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups. If you develop a cavity, it can be detected and treated before it gives you a painful toothache.
Homemade toothache remedies can keep you comfortable while you wait for your dentist appointment, but they do not get to the root of the problem.