Toothaches are unpleasant at the best of times, and they have a nasty habit of creeping up at the most inconvenient moments. It's not always possible to get to the dentist right away, and even when it is, sometimes your practitioner's recommended toothache treatment takes time. The good news is that there are a number of steps you can take at home to get some relief from the pain. Run these tricks by your dentist first to make sure they don't clash with his or her treatment plan.
Relieving Toothache Pain
An over-the-counter medicine containing paracetamol is useful in treating toothaches. According to the American Dental Association, it's the most common pain killer recommended after dental treatment. Paracetamol is an analgesic that changes the way your body perceives pain, which is what makes an ache tolerable.
Toothaches are often accompanied by inflammation, swelling and redness of the gums, or irritation in other parts of the mouth. These symptoms may benefit from anti-inflammatory medication or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs). You should only take one of these medications if you know for certain that you have no allergies to the ingredients, and you should always ensure you take an NSAID with food to avoid irritation to the stomach.
Topical medication applied directly to the tooth can also provide you with some short-term pain relief. Ask your dentist for a recommendation.
Holding an ice pack or a package of frozen peas to the outside of your face can be surprisingly helpful. The cold helps numb the pain. Apply the ice for a few minutes at a time and then take a break.
Avoid Hard Foods
Toothaches are frequently caused either by a broken tooth or a dental cavity, so until you are sure of the reason for your pain, it's best to take precautions. As you wait for toothache treatment, and directly afterwards, stick to soft foods to avoid further damage to brittle or sensitive teeth.
Keep it Clean
It is essential to maintain good dental hygiene even when you have a toothache. If it's too painful to perform your regular daily brushing and flossing, try a mouth rinse to clean the mouth while alleviating discomfort and promoting healing.
It's not always convenient to get the treatment you require at the time you need it, but these options will help reduce the pain enough to see you through until you can get professional help.