How to Relieve a Toothache at Home

Let’s be clear. If you have a toothache, you need to schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible. That way, our dentist will be able to treat the underlying cause of your pain.

In the meantime, here are some ways for you to temporarily relieve a toothache at home until you’re able to see our dentist.

FLOSS YOUR TEETH

While it may sound weird, flossing can sometimes relieve a mild toothache. The reason being that sometimes small pieces of food get caught between teeth.

IF YOU DISLODGE A PIECE OF FOOD THAT'S BEEN STUCK FOR A WHILE, YOUR GUMS MAY BLEED A LITTLE. THIS IS NORMAL. SEEK URGENT DENTAL CARE IF YOUR TOOTHACHE PERSISTS OR WORSENS.

Swish with Warm, Salty Water

Swish with warm, salty water to loosen any small pieces of food caught between your teeth. Saltwater rinse can also help disinfect and heal wounds in your mouth.

To make a saltwater rinse, mix 1/2 teaspoon salt with a glass of warm water. You'll then want to swish the mixture around in your mouth and spit it out when you're done. Don't swallow it.

APPLY A COLD COMPRESS

Holding a cold compress up to your cheek can help you numb a toothache. The coldness of the compact makes the blood vessels underneath constrict. With less blood circulation, you'll experience less dental pain.

If you don't have a cold compress, a frozen bag of peas or corn works in a pinch. If you're using frozen vegetables, wrap a kitchen towel around the bag to protect your skin. You should also never apply a cold compress for more than 15 to 20 minutes.

SAVE YOUR USED PEPPERMINT TEA BAGS

Apply a wet, used peppermint tea bag right next to the tooth that hurts. (The tea bag should only be a little warm, not hot.) Over the course of 20 minutes, the peppermint will help numb and soothe your tooth.

TAKE OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN RELIEVERS

It's best that you don't take over-the-counter pain relievers for an extended period of time. Yet, they can help you for a few days until you're able to see our dentist. If you're unsure what medications to use, call our office. We'll be more than happy to help you choose the right options.

DON’T IGNORE DENTAL PAIN

Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. While it’s normal for your teeth to feel sensitive every once in a while, you should call our office if the pain persists. A toothache could indicate a cavity, abscess, or other dental problem that needs to be treated as soon as possible.

While the at-home remedies we describe in this blog post can temporarily relieve dental pain, they don’t treat the underlying cause. For this reason, it’s important that you seek emergency dental care as soon as possible.

Learn More: Is My Tooth Infected? >>

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT

Have a dental emergency during our office hours? Our dentist in Waterford, MI, will identify the source of your pain and help restore your oral health. To request an appointment, call Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center at (248) 681-8100.

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