Ideally, if you have a toothache, you’d be sitting in our dental chair right away. But the reality is that toothaches don’t always strike at a convenient time, and you will need some relief before you can get into our practice. Here a few remedies that may help with discomfort in the meantime.
Salt Water Rinses
Rinsing your mouth with a mixture of salt water can temporarily reduce pain for some kinds of toothache. This remedy works best when the toothache is the result of swelling or inflammation because the salt works to reduce inflammation by causing the tissues to constrict. Stir 2-3 teaspoons (4-5 mL) of salt into a glass of water. Rinse by swishing in your mouth, then spit out without swallowing. Repeat as often as necessary.
A cold compress can relieve a toothache by reducing swelling. The cold can also cause numbness, offering temporary relief. We suggest taking an ice pack (or even a bag of frozen vegetables in a pinch) and holding it against your cheek or jaw where the discomfort is worst. Place a paper towel or washcloth between the cold pack and your face to keep from irritating your skin.
Clove oil can be dabbed on the affected area for temporary pain relief. Clove oil contains a chemical called eugenol which is a natural topical anesthetic. You can buy clove oil at most drugstores or pharmacies. To apply, take a cotton swab or cotton ball, dip it in clove oil, and gently dab it onto the location of the toothache. Not everyone likes the taste or smell, but this home toothache remedy does work.
See a Dentist!
All of these remedies only address the symptoms of your toothache, not the cause, which could be a cracked tooth, a cavity, or an infection. If you have a toothache, please contact us immediately! The sooner we see you the sooner you’ll have relief.
Of course, the best toothache remedy is to never have one in the first place. That’s why it is so important for you to keep up with your regular dental visits at our office. At your cleaning and exam visits we can spot potential problems long before they become a toothache and fix them before they cause you trouble. For sudden emergencies, such as cracking a tooth on a rogue popcorn kernel, we’re here to relieve your discomfort and get your smile back to normal.