Can You Treat a Toothache at Home?

Having a toothache is an unpleasant experience that most adults encounter at least once in life. When a toothache rears its ugly head, it may feel like you cannot get to the dentist quick enough. In the time between when a toothache presents itself and getting to the dentist to take care of it, managing the pain can feel like your first priority.

Steps for treating a toothache at home

Step 1: Find the source of the pain

Treating a toothache at home means relieving the pain while paying close attention to the origin of that pain. Figuring out the source of discomfort will allow you to determine the best course of action for counteracting any unpleasant symptoms. Tooth sensitivity usually emanates from the root of a tooth, where the nerves and deep tissue are found.

Toothaches occur for many different reasons. Whether the pain originates from a cavity, failed root canal or jaw abscess, it is important to see your dentist if symptoms persist past two days. Sometimes, symptoms do not show for a few days or even weeks when dealing with an upset nerve. The nerve can be deadened by trauma such as sports injuries and can flare up when using the teeth while eating.

Step 2: Cold compress and saltwater rinse

To quell most symptoms of a toothache, swish thoroughly with saltwater and apply a cold compress to the area. The cold compress will reduce swelling while a saltwater rinse will sanitize and soothe the tooth. Saltwater will also help heal oral wounds quicker. If these actions do not help, the toothache may be more severe and will need the attention of a dentist as soon as possible.

Wrap a bag filled with ice in a towel, and apply it directly to the outside of the cheek where the pain is most intense. The cold will cause the blood vessels to constrict and lessen any discomfort.

Step 3: Hydrogen peroxide rinse

Hydrogen peroxide mixed with water makes an effective oral rinse. Dilute the hydrogen peroxide (3-percent hydrogen peroxide will work with two parts water) so it is safe to swish. Do not swallow this solution, however, as it is not safe for consumption. The hydrogen peroxide will relieve pain and inflammation while killing bacteria and healing bleeding gums.

Step 4: Herbal remedies

Peppermint tea

After brewing peppermint tea, remove the bag from the hot water and allow it to cool. Place the warm teabag on the affected area. Peppermint has natural numbing properties. The tea bag can be put into the freezer and used to soothe irritated gums when frozen.

Garlic

This ancient bulb has been used for medicinal purposes dating back thousands of years, and its pain-relieving properties persist today. Garlic kills bacteria as well, eliminating plaque from the area and therefore decreasing irritation. Crush one garlic clove into a paste, and apply it directly to the area to experience the benefits.

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At-home treatments are only meant to soothe pain while you wait for a dentist to diagnose and treat the root cause. If you have any of the following symptoms, seek help from a dentist immediately: fever, trouble breathing or swallowing, a toothache that lasts three or more days, pain when you bite, abnormally red gums, pus or discharge from the gums and intense swelling.

Request an appointment here: https://www.diamondheaddentalcare.com or call Diamond Head Dental Care at (808) 450-2101 for an appointment in our Honolulu office.

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