Relieving Toothache: What You Should and Shouldn't Do

Posted on: 10 April 2017


While some dental issues are not an emergency and can wait until it is time for your next dental appointment, others require the immediate attention of a dentist. Emergency dentists operate 24/7 so that they can attend to patients who experience various dental emergencies, such as toothache, dental avulsion (knocked-out tooth), a broken or fractured tooth, a loose tooth, lost filling, a possibly broken jaw, etc. These are all dental issues that have the potential to cause a lot of pain, discomfort and anxiety, hence the need to seek immediate dental help. 

Toothache is one of the most common complaints many emergency dentists get from their patients. Toothaches hardly ever occur without any reason. Some typical causes of toothache include: tooth decay, wisdom teeth eruption, tooth trauma, and tooth fractures. If you have suffered from toothache in the past, then you know just how unbearable the pain can be. If you've never had an aching tooth, you should continue taking good care of your teeth so as to avoid facing the issue. 

When you are faced with toothache, what you do between the time the dental issue arises and the time you see a dentist can significantly impact the amount of pain you will have to endure. Here's what you should and shouldn't do to help reduce pain caused by toothache.

Rinse your mouth with tepid water

Tepid water is warmish water; that is, water that is neither too hot nor too cold. The first thing you should do when you realise that your tooth is aching is to gargle with some warm water and then gently floss around the tooth to make sure there's no impacted food particles lodged or trapped between the teeth.

Apply a cold compress

Most often, toothaches are accompanied by inflammation. If your tooth is swollen, you can reduce the inflammation by simply applying a cold compress to the inflamed area. The cold compress should be placed against the outside of your cheek or mouth, over the painful area. If you don't have a cold compress in the house, you can alternatively use a pack of ice. 

Don't use topical painkillers

Aspirin or any other topical painkillers must never be applied against your aching teeth or gums. Aspirin, for example, is acidic and may therefore burn the gum tissue.

If your tooth keeps on aching, make sure to call your dentist for advice on the next course of action.