A toothache can be an excruciating experience. It often starts as a dull ache that gradually intensifies into an intense, throbbing pain that seems to radiate through the entire head and neck.
No matter the level of intensity, a toothache can make it difficult to function throughout the day. If you’re dealing with a toothache, you’re probably desperate for some relief. Below, we’ll be sharing some tips that can help.
Swish With Warm Salt Water
This popular remedy has been passed down from generation to generation because it works.
The warm water helps reduce inflammation and swelling in the affected area, while the salt acts as an antimicrobial agent that helps kill bacteria and prevent infection.
What salt should you use? You can use any type of salt for this remedy, but some people prefer to use sea salt because it’s more natural and has additional minerals. How long should you swish the salt water around in your mouth? Do it for about 30 seconds, focusing on the area where the toothache is located. Spit the salt water out and repeat the process as needed.
Apply a Cold Compress or Ice Pack
If rinsing your mouth with warm salt water does not alleviate your toothache, try applying a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area. The cold temperature can help numb the pain and reduce swelling in the surrounding tissues.
That said, it’s important to avoid applying the cold directly to the tooth or gums, as this can cause further damage. Instead, wrap the ice pack in a towel or cloth and hold it against the cheek or jaw near the affected tooth. Also, be sure to limit the use of cold compresses or ice packs to 20 minutes at a time, as extended use can lead to complications.
Swish With a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Another way to soothe a toothache is by swishing with a hydrogen peroxide solution. This can be particularly effective if the toothache is caused by an infection. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural antimicrobial agent that can help kill bacteria and reduce inflammation in the mouth. Just be sure not to swallow the hydrogen peroxide solution as it can be toxic.
Try Anti-Inflammatory Medication
Sometimes, home remedies may not be enough to fully alleviate a toothache. In these cases, you may want to consider over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
However, be careful when taking these medications, as they can have negative side effects.
For example, according to recent research, ibuprofen can cause dizziness and stomach issues such as gas or bloating. Acetaminophen, or Tylenol, on the other hand, can cause extreme tiredness, red, peeling, or blistering skin, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.
The best way to determine if these medications are safe for you to use is to consult a qualified dentist. They can help assess your specific situation and recommend the best course of action for relieving your toothache.
There you have it, four tips for soothing a toothache that you can try. Of course, there are many other effective remedies out there that are not on this list. Some other options may include using peppermint tea bags, garlic, OTC anesthetics, clove oil, etc.
No matter the remedy you choose, it’s always a good idea to consult with your dentist before trying anything new. Your dentist can provide you with the best advice and treatment options based on the specific cause of your toothache.