How to Treat a Toothache 

If you’ve ever experienced a toothache, you know full well that the pain is one that can vary greatly in severity and be difficult to identify exactly what teeth are affected. It is also a pain that most people would like to avoid when possible as it typically does not go away without treatment.

Anytime you have pain in and around the teeth and jaws, you are experiencing a toothache. The most likely culprit for such pain is typically tooth decay, an infection in your tooth, loose/broken fillings, or receding gums.

Here’s what you should do next time you experience a toothache:

Make an Appointment

To start, once you have a toothache (and certainly for no more than one or two days), it is important to schedule an appointment with our office. When you call, be sure to let us know where you are feeling the pain and give an indication of the severity and frequency of your pain. This will help us get you the care you need. Remember, the longer you avoid it, the worse the pain will get.

Treat at Home

While waiting for your appointment, there are several ways you can help treat the pain at home:

-Gently Brush and Floss: To ensure there is no remaining debris in the tooth area, gently brush and floss the affected tooth.

-Over the Counter Meds: If you are not taking any other medications that would make it unsafe, over the counter anti-inflammatory pain medications, such as ibuprofen, can be taken as instructed on the packaging. This will help temporarily relieve the intensity of your pain.

-Salt-Water Rinse: Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water. This will help cleanse the tooth, loosening any debris lodged in the teeth or in-between teeth. As well, the salt water rinse can help reduce swelling and boost the healing process. A great ratio is one teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water.

-Apply Garlic: Garlic has long been known to have antibacterial properties. Crush a clove of garlic, mix with a little salt, and apply as a paste on the affected tooth.-

-Cold Compress: Apply a cold compress or ice pack to relieve your pain. (A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a light towel makes a great ice pack, by the way). Apply for a few minutes at a time. The cold constricts the flow of blood to the area, helping to numb the pain and reduce swelling/inflammation. 

What happens if you ignore the pain, leaving it untreated?

When you ignore your tooth pain the likelihood of the pain increasing in severity and frequency is very high. Also, if left untreated, the pulp within your tooth will eventually become infected, leading to a potential dental abscess that presents with severe, continuous throbbing pain. If it leads to this point, you will certainly be seeking immediate dental treatment.

Call our office right away if you have dental pain. River Valley Smile Center is your family’s partner for long-term dental health and is here to help you and your family maintain optimal oral health both now and for a lifetime. To schedule an appointment, call our friendly office staff at 479.646.0706 or, for your convenience, fill out an appointment request here:

River Valley Smiles