What Can You Do For A Toothache While Awaiting Your Dental Appointment?
Toothaches are typically indicative of an underlying dental issue like an abscessed tooth root or serious cavity. Thus, when you have a toothache, it is important to call and make an appointment with your dentist. Usually, your dentist will try to get you in as soon as possible. But how can you stay comfortable and relieve the pain while you're awaiting that appointment? Here's how:
Taking NSAID Pain Relievers
There are a number of over-the-counter pain relievers, but the best ones to take are the NSAID pain relievers. NSAID stands for "non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug." These medications not only alleviate pain, but also alleviate inflammation. This will be very helpful when you have a toothache, since a lot of the pain and pressure can be attributed to inflammation. Taking an NSAID will reduce swelling that is pressing on your nerves and irritating them. Ibuprofen and naproxen are both NSAIDS. Acetaminophen is not. Whether you choose naproxen or ibuprofen, make sure you follow the dosing instructions on the bottle to minimize your risk of side effects.
Applying Clove Oil
Applying a little clove oil to the painful tooth can also make you more comfortable. This essential oil has been used for centuries as a natural pain reliever. It not only helps to alleviate pain but is also antibacterial. So, if your toothache is caused by an infection, the clove oil might help jump-start the fight against the bacteria while you're awaiting your dentist appointment and the antibiotics your dentist will probably prescribe.
Clove oil can be found in most health food stores. Just apply a drop or two to a cotton swab, and wipe it over your painful tooth. It does have a strong taste and can have unpleasant side effects like nausea if swallowed -- so use it in moderation.
Sipping Cold Drinks
Sipping a cold beverage can help reduce inflammation, which will in turn ease your pain. The exception to this is if your toothache is being caused by a deep cavity. In this case, your tooth might be overly sensitive to cold, and sipping a cold drink might make your pain even worse. Make yourself a cold beverage, and take a tentative sip to see if it makes your pain better or worse. If it makes it better, keep sipping slowly for ongoing relief.
Rinsing With Salt Water
This remedy is effective for toothaches caused by both infections and cavities. The salt helps draw out excess moisture, reducing inflammation and pain, and it also helps kill bacteria to slow down the progression of decay or an infection. Just stir a teaspoon of table salt into a cup of warm water. (Use room temperature water if your tooth is sensitive to heat.) Then, swish one mouthful at a time, spitting it out into the sink afterwards. Keep going until the cup is empty. You can repeat this safe, natural remedy as many times as you like while awaiting your dentist appointment.
Biting Down on a Tea Bag
Tea contains compounds called tannins, which help draw out inflammation and alleviate pain. Try brewing a cup of tea, letting the tea bag cool, and then biting down on the tea bag for a few minutes at a time. You can use either black or green tea -- whichever you prefer. Just don't use an herbal tea, as most are not actually made with real tea and may not have the same effects.
By using the remedies above, you should be able to keep your pain under control until you're able to make it to a dentist, like those at Dental Associates PC. If the pain does become unbearable, head to an emergency dentist in your area.