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Tips for Cavity Pain Relief

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Whether it's a dull throb or a sharp, stabbing sensation, pain is a side effect of cavities, and it isn't always possible to see your dentist right away for fast relief. While waiting for your dental appointment, home remedies and over-the-counter medications may provide temporary cavity pain relief.

Why Do Cavities Hurt?

Cavities expose the sensitive dentine and nerve pulp in teeth, which leads to an ache or pain that may come and go. According to the American Dental Association, cavity pain often occurs when you eat cold or sweet foods. Other signs that you have a cavity are food catching in your teeth, or an area of a tooth that feels rough to your tongue. You might also be able to see the actual problem in your tooth.

Home Remedies

Natural home remedies for cavity pain relief include warm water, salt and clove oil. The Mayo Clinic advises people with cavities to brush with warm water to clean all parts of the mouth, including the painful area. You can also try rinsing with warm salt water by following these steps:

  • Add two teaspoons of salt to a glass of warm water.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly with the salt water and spit it out.

Rinsing with salt water cleans food debris from the cavity and soothes sensitivity. Don't rinse with overly hot or cold water. Extreme temperatures can make your cavity pain even worse.

Clove oil will also provide effective temporary relief for painful cavities. Follow these steps:

  • Add two or three drops of clove oil to a cotton swab, cotton ball or a clean piece of tissue.
  • Put the swab, ball or tissue at the site of the cavity and leave it there until the pain fades.
  • If clove oil alone is too strong, dilute it with olive oil.

Over-the-Counter Treatments

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth, as well as analgesics, should help keep cavity pain away. Gently brush with such a toothpaste to numb the exposed nerves in a cavity. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to reduce irritation to the dentine and nerve pulp. Ask your doctor to recommend an appropriate over-the-counter medication to relieve cavity pain.

Natural Endorphins

Exercise releases endorphins, which are nature's pain relievers. If you're accustomed to exercise, a workout or run might ease your toothache. If intense exercise isn't your cup of tea, go for a brisk walk instead.

Cavity pain can strike at any time: night or day, weekday or weekend. By managing your pain at home, you can live somewhat comfortably until your dental appointment.

Luckily, once you're able to visit your dentist, a filling or other dental treatment will provide permanent relief.


Disclaimer:The above information is provided for informational purposes only. Colgate does not accept any liability should the above recommendations have an outcome contrary to the intended result. Always seek the advice of a qualified doctor or dental professional. Do not disregard professional advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read in this article.


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