If you’re suffering from a toothache, contact ValleyFair Dental in Maple Ridge as soon as possible – your tooth may be abscessed and require emergency dental care. Come in to ValleyFair Dental to avoid complications such as surgery or a tooth extraction if you experience any type of toothache.
The good news is, there are some tried and true toothache pain relief methods and here they are, brought to you by the caring team of oral health care experts at ValleyFair Dental.
Applying a cold compress to your jaw should alleviate a toothache. The cold reduces blood flow to the site and therefore reduces swelling and pain. Apply a cold compress as often as necessary until the pain subsides.
Pain medication can help relieve a toothache but be sure not to exceed the recommended dose. Pain relievers such as aspirin and Advil typically contain anti-inflammatory medicine which can reduce the pain and swelling associated with a toothache.
- Warm Salt Water and Baking Soda
Salt and Baking Soda combine to make an excellent anti-bacterial mouth-rise that can help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth and potentially reduce the swelling and pain that stems from a toothache.
Pure clove oil, available in most drugstores, can act as a numbing agent if applied directly to the tooth. Don’t apply to the gums or apply too much as clove oil can be poisonous in too-high quantities. If you don’t want to use clove oil, a clove of garlic is an excellent substitute – simply hold it against the tooth for a few minutes and rinse with warm water afterward.
Teas such as black and green teas are high in tannins, which are known to reduce swelling and help your blood to clot and therefore improve healing. Microwave the teabag in a small dish filled with water for about 30 seconds or until warm, squeeze the excess water and bite down on the teabag, holding it against your tooth/gum.
However, remember that any toothache is a bad toothache so contact ValleyFair Dental in Maple Ridge for an appointment as soon as possible.
Causes of Toothache
A toothache can be the result of a poor diet and poor dental hygiene, or worse a symptom of a serious dental problem, or a “transferred” symptom of a serious health problem elsewhere in the body. Here are some of the more common causes of toothache in each category:
Diet and Hygiene
- eating too many refined sugars and flours, sugary drinks, candy, etc.
- not brushing or flossing teeth regularly
- dental cavity or tooth decay (often caused by diet and hygiene problems)
- an abscessed, cracked, or impacted tooth
- gum disease
- jaw problems
Toothaches can be indicators (sometimes the only indicator) of sinus and ear infections, or heart problems such as a heart attack or angina. If your toothache is not responding to home or dental treatment, ask a doctor about the possibility of transferred pain. They’ll be able to help you find the cause.
Best Toothache Remedies
Schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as your toothache turns from twinge to pain. Most home toothache remedies are aimed at getting rid of toothache pain, not solving the problem at the root of the toothache. Chances are, if you have a painful toothache, you have a serious dental problem that only a dentist can get rid of with medical treatment. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to spare yourself the painful experience, and possible extra medical expenses, and not wait until the toothache becomes unbearable to see a dentist.
Numb and soothe the pain of your toothache with gentle heat and cold. Hold a hot or cold pack, or ice cubes wrapped in a towel, to your jaw next to your aching tooth. Sip hot soup broth, hot tea, or eat some ice cream. Or, if your toothache is sensitive to extreme heat and cold, sip on lukewarm liquids, like tea, cocoa, or lemon water.
Don’t eat or drink foods that will make your toothache pain worse. This can mean staying away from hot and/or cold foods (see above), or foods with a lot of sugar and spices, or even foods that need to be chewed thoroughly (like meat, fibrous fruits and vegetables, etc.). Stick to liquids and soft foods at a soothing temperature to alleviate some of your toothache pain.
Use aspirin and other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to get rid of toothache pain. Taking the recommended dose of aspiring, aleve, ibuprofen, or other NSAIDS may be enough to relieve the pain from you toothache until you can get to a dentist. If this isn’t working, however, you can try crushing an aspirin or baby aspirin to a fine power, adding just enough water to make a thick paste, and applying this paste to the aching tooth and surrounding gum area for added pain relief. You can find Aleve on Amazon.
Clove oil is a natural oil used in dentistry for its analgesic (pain relief) properties. You can purchase clove oil over the counter at pharmacies for topical toothache relief at home. Dab a small amount of clove oil on a cotton swab and hold the oil directly to the painful tooth or gum area until the oil has had time to absorb into the affected area. Clove oil has an unpleasant flavor, so it’s probably wise to keep the oil from touching your tongue.
Best Natural Toothache Relief
Master List of Home Remedies
- Salt Water: Mix a heaping spoonful of salt in a small glass of water, swoosh around inside your mouth for as long as you can, spit out. Repeat a couple times.
- Cloves: This is an old timer’s remedy, rest a clove against the sore tooth until pain goes away. You can also use a drop or two of clove oil (careful, too much can be toxic) or make a thick paste of ground cloves and water or ground cloves and olive oil.
- Alcohol: Swoosh a bit of whiskey, scotch, brandy or vodka. A strong mouthwash that contains alcohol can do the trick too.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Swoosh a bit of hydrogen peroxide. If the taste is too horrid for you, try diluting with a bit of water.
- Vanilla Extract: Saturate a cotton ball with vanilla and hold in place. Can also use a cotton swab dipped in extract.
- Almond Extract: Same method of treatment as with Vanilla (above).
- Peppermint Extract: Same as with Vanilla (above).
- Lemon Extract: Same as with Vanilla (above).
- Tea Tree Oil: Just a drop or two is all that’s needed. You can also add some to a cotton swab and hold in place or add a few drops of tea tree oil to a small glass of water and swoosh this around.
- Oil Of Oregano: Mix a few drops with a bit of olive oil, then saturate a cotton ball with mixture. Can replace the olive oil with water if preferred.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar (ACV) and hold it in place. Can also try regular household vinegar.
- Ginger Root: Take a fresh piece of ginger and carefully chew it a bit (remember to chew with the problem tooth).
- Garlic: Take a clove of garlic, smash it and apply (settle it inside cheek). You can also mash some garlic with salt.
- Peppermint Leaves: Chew on fresh peppermint leaves. You can also try dried leaves, just hold them in place.
- Potato: Cut a fresh piece of potato (raw, skin off) and hold in place. Can also pound a piece of raw potato, mix in a bit of salt and use the mash.
- Lime: Cut a slice or wedge of lime and apply, bite into it if you can to release some of the juice. If you’re sensitive to cold, first bring the lime to room temperature if it was refrigerated.
- Onion: Slice a piece of fresh onion and hold it inside your mouth. The onion needs to be freshly cut (so it provides a bit of onion juice).
- Cucumber: Slice a fresh piece of cucumber and hold it over the sore area. If refrigerated, you might want to bring the cucumber to room temperature before using (if sensitive to cold) otherwise a cool piece can be soothing. You can also mash a piece with a bit of salt.
- Plantain: Chew up a fresh plantain leaf. If you’re too sore to chew, use the other side of your mouth. Once the leaf is macerated a bit apply it to the problem area and hold in place.
- Cayenne Pepper: Make a paste with cayenne pepper and water and pack the tooth and gum with the mixture.
- Black Pepper: You can use this full strength or make a mix of pepper and salt.
- Baking Soda: Take a cotton swab and moisten it with a bit of water, dip it in baking soda (coat the swab really well with baking soda) then apply. You can also make a mouth rinse by mixing a heaping spoonful of baking soda in a small glass of water, dissolve the soda then swish the mixture in your mouth.
- Tea: Make a fresh cup of tea then take the used tea bag and stick it in your mouth. Careful not to tear the bag. The tannins that are naturally in tea leaves can help numb things.
- Ice Pack: Cover an ice pack with a face cloth or towel then hold over your cheek where the problem is. This will help numb things. If that doesn’t work, try the opposite–a hot compress (not too hot that it burns your skin).
- If the pain is unbearable and there’s no dentist available, call your local hospital’s emergency room–chances are they have a dentist on call that can treat you (for a fee).
- Try gently brushing your teeth and flossing–this might bring some relief.
- If the side of your face is in severe pain and it feels like you’re going to lose your mind (I’ve been there, done that)–it could be a sinus infection or an allergy that affects your sinuses rather than a problem tooth (even though it definitely feels like it). Try a Herbal Decongestant Steam to break up sinuses, this might help relieve things until you get to a doctor. Chances are a prescription for penicillin is what you’ll need to clear up the infection.
Something I found that worked in the above, very painful, severe situation the last time it happened to me (I’ve gone through this three times so far):
- Swoosh cool or room temperature water in your mouth where the pain is. Hold the water there as long as you can.
- Once the pain starts throbbing again, spit out and replenish with a fresh mouthful of water.
- Spit out and repeat as often as necessary.
I had to do this for about 4 hours straight one night until the dentist’s office opened in the morning. The pain was an unbearable, unspeakable, nerve pain. This was the only thing that kept me sane and gave me immediate and fast relief, unfortunately it’s only for moments at a time. I ended up having that tooth pulled but only after a round of antibiotics and a few days taking prescription pain killers. I’m not actually clear on what the problem was in that particular case, I think it was an abscessed tooth…I was in serious distress at the time and couldn’t see my usual dentist but I’m confident in the care I received.
What’s In My Medicine Cabinet: I now keep a box each of Extra Strength Anbesol (topical Anesthetic) and Maximum Strenth Orajel in the medicine cabinet at all times. The brands aren’t what matters, both have 20% Benzocaine Gel and I found that this ingredient helps dull this type of extreme nerve pain in the beginning stages before it blows up and you have to keep water in your mouth the entire time. It would also help relieve pain from an abscessed tooth in the advanced stages. If it’s 3 AM and nothing on the home remedies list above will help you, running to a 24 HR Pharmacy is *well worth the effort* to go out driving to pick this up. They will only provide temporary relief, but there’s something about tooth & nerve pain that is so intense and causes such severe distress and discomfort that anything even minimally removes or eases the pain just a little bit is welcome.
I hope this information is useful to you and you find a quick cure that brings the pain to a halt, but please don’t ignore the problem and get yourself to a dentist as soon as you can. Home remedies can help you get through the night, but problem teeth and gums only get worse if ignored. Good luck!
Note: These are simply notes I have collected, they are not professional medical advice.
**Updated: Removed aspirin tips in case the warnings weren’t clear enough for some, better to be safe than sorry!