5 Tips to Relieve a Toothache

Posted on: 2 May 2017


When you're struggling with toothache, it's important to schedule an appointment with a dentist so you can find out what is causing your pain. However, not all dentists can offer appointments right away. If you have to wait to see your dentist, use these five top tips for toothache relief.

1. Rinse With Salt Water

Rinsing your mouth with salt water can help prevent infection from adding to the pain of a damaged tooth. Salt water works by making the inside of your mouth less acidic, which in turn makes it more difficult for bacteria to thrive.

2. Numb the Pain With Ice

A simple ice pack can offer effective toothache relief. You can make your own ice pack by wrapping ice cubes in a towel and gently pressing it against your face on the side where you feel pain. The cold gently soothes the pain of toothache and could help to reduce swelling. However, you should never apply ice directly to your face without first wrapping it up, as the extreme cold can damage the skin.

3. Change Your Sleeping Position

Lying down often makes toothache worse, which can lead to problems sleeping. Many toothache sufferers find they sleep better if they use pillows to keep their head in a more upright position. Another option is to sleep in a comfortable recliner chair until you can see a dentist to address the root cause of your toothache.

4. Change Your Diet

While you are suffering from toothache, it's a good idea to stick to foods that won't irritate an already sore mouth. Soft foods like soup, oatmeal and mashed potatoes are all safe choices, but you should be sure to let them cool a little before you eat them to avoid heat triggering more pain. Try to avoid sugary drinks, which encourage bacteria to grow.

5. Use Appropriate Pain Medications

Pain medications can be a very effective source of toothache relief, but some of them can interfere with dental treatment. In particular, it's a good idea to avoid aspirin, which could make your gums more likely to bleed when you see the dentist to get treatment for your toothache. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are both good choices for toothache. If these medicines don't work for you, ask your pharmacist about other options, such as codeine, which could help to relieve your pain so you can work, sleep, and eat while you wait for your dentist appointment.