From tooth decay to damage caused by grinding your teeth, your toothache could have several possible causes. The pain and throbbing of a toothache are unmistakable, but you can find relief while you wait to visit your dentist. However, you can also make mistakes that worsen your toothache.
Keep these do’s and don'ts in mind the next time you have a toothache.
Do Contact Your Dentist Right Away
No matter what the cause of your toothache, contact your dentist right away to schedule an appointment. If the pain is minor, you may be able to wait until the next day before visiting your dentist. However, you need to go in immediately if the pain is excruciating or you are experiencing other symptoms, including bleeding, a bump, or draining gums. These are signs of a tooth abscess, which can be very dangerous.
Even if the symptoms dissipate with at-home treatments, you still need to visit your dentist to determine the cause of your toothache and prevent oral pain in the future. You don’t want to risk your toothache coming back or the underlying issue causing damage over the long run.
Do Use Ice, Pain Relievers, and Salt Water
Lessening the pain associated with a toothache can be accomplished by reaching for items in your medicine cabinet and in your freezer. Place a cold pack on your affected tooth for a safe and effective way to relieve your pain and bring down swelling. Taking an over-the-counter pain medication in conjunction with a cold compress can help you handle the pain until you can talk to your dentist.
Always take the manufacturer's recommended dosage. If you're treating a child's toothache, contact your doctor to determine the best medication and correct dosage, based on the child's age and weight.
Swishing a combination of table salt and lukewarm water will rinse away bacteria trapped on your teeth. If you are suffering from tooth decay or an abscess, carefully rinsing away the germs and food particles will temporarily lessen the pain. This will help you stay comfortable until you can visit the dentist and get the underlying problem fixed.
Don't Use Heat or an Aspirin Paste
You might have read the best way to treat a toothache is to create a paste with a crushed aspirin and water. Placing an aspirin paste on your swollen, sore tooth can make the pain worse, and the aspirin can eat away and your gums and tooth. Instead, take aspirin according to the manufacturer's recommended dosage.
Never give aspirin to your children, especially if they are under three or recovering from a severe illness. The ingredients in aspirin may contribute to a condition called Reye's Syndrome in children, which is extremely dangerous.
Avoid using heat to soothe your toothache as well. Heat won't relieve any pain and can actually make the swelling worse. Use ice instead.
Don't Eat or Drink Anything That Will Aggravate Your Tooth
Finally, while you're waiting to visit the dentist, avoid consuming any foods or beverages that can cause additional pain or make the cause of your toothache worse. This includes foods and beverages that are acidic or high in sugar. Skip the morning cup of coffee or another hot beverage and drink a lukewarm glass of water instead. Sucking on a straw can make your toothache worse, so sip from a cup.
Whether your toothache is caused by severe tooth decay, an abscess, or tooth and gum damage, keep these do’s and don'ts in mind to treat the pain while you wait to visit the dentist. If you have any further questions, contact the professionals at Eastland & Professional Dental Center.