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The 5 Best Ways to Handle Tooth Pain

Posted February 27, 2020 in Toothaches

2 Minute Read:

Tooth pain can be irritating, if not debilitating. There are several causes behind why teeth hurt, but anyone who has experienced toothaches knows it can significantly affect day-to-day life. 

Here are some easy home remedies to combat tooth pain, along with ways to avoid toothaches in the future.

Woman wincing from a toothache.
Pain is our body’s way of telling us there is something wrong that requires prompt attention.

5 Ways to Treat a Toothache 

1. Gargle With Warm Water and Salt

Saltwater “dehydrates” harmful bacteria, causing bacteria cells to collapse from their lack of water. By gargling with just ½ teaspoon of table salt for eight ounces of water, you can have an effective mix to rinse the mouth with.   

2. Apply Over-the-Counter Topical Ointments and Medication 

Over-the-counter topical ointments with numbing agents like benzocaine can be helpful for temporarily relieving pain. Apply them directly to the sore tooth or nearby gums. This is ideal for short-term use, but it will not last indefinitely.  

Acetaminophen (TYLENOL®) does not affect inflammation but instead inhibits pain and fever. When taken at the recommended dose, TYLENOL® has few to zero side effects.

3. Focus on Warm Foods and Drinks

Additionally, try to avoid foods that are too acidic or sugary, as these foods could eat away at the enamel of the problem area. 

Toothaches can make eating shuddersome. This is why the proper food choice is essential to avoid further trauma to the problem area. While you still need to eat to fight off infection and allow your body to heal, you should try to focus on foods that are primarily soft and mild in temperature (neither too hot or too cold). 

Lastly, liquid diets are a perfect way to avoid the pain of chewing while still getting the proper energy and nutrients to function normally.  

4. Use Ice Packs

Cold objects can slow blood flow by constricting blood vessels in a specific area, thus significantly reducing inflammation and swelling. By using ice packs and other cold compresses, you may be able to reduce swelling and alleviate pain in the troubled area. 

5. Keep Teeth Clean

The best way to find relief from toothaches is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Getting professional cleanings regularly and practicing healthy habits like brushing, flossing, and rinsing with hydrogen peroxide or therapeutic mouthwash are commonly recommended by orthodontists everywhere. 

What Causes Tooth Pain?

Pain is our body’s way of telling us there is something wrong that requires prompt attention. Often this is because we have overlooked a healthy habit or neglected an area of our health. Any amount of pain or discomfort warrants a visit to a professional orthodontist, as the amount of pain you are in is not an accurate indicator of how much your teeth and gums are actually in jeopardy.  

Common causes of tooth pain may include:

  • Sensitive Teeth
  • Gum Disease
  • Impacted Tooth
  • Inflammation of tooth pulp 
  • Tooth Decay 
  • Non-Dental Causes 
  • Abscess 

When Should I See a Dentist? 

Sensitive or aching teeth are not symptoms that should go unattended. An appointment should be made with an experienced dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your teeth. 

If you would like more information about the best ways to handle tooth discomfort, give our office a call at (575) 524-3722 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment today!