In our last blog post, we discussed some of the causes of tooth pain. A very appropriate follow-up to that post is to look at some temporary pain relievers. No one can predict when a toothache will occur, and sometimes those unexpected dental mishaps arise when you can’t drop everything to visit the dentist. Our office at Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, AZ offers extensive emergency dental care, and we will do our best to get you in right away. However, if you can’t make it to our office immediately, here are some possible, temporary solutions for dulling or relieving your tooth pain.
First, we want to be clear; tooth pain shouldn’t be ignored. Even if your pain isn’t severe, delaying treatment for any length of time may allow infection to set in, or to spread. And besides, who wants to live with tooth pain? If you’ve got a toothache, whether dull or acute, it’s a good idea to have it checked by a dentist. Resolving your pain may be as simple as using a sensitive teeth toothpaste. But if you’re unsure about the source or your pain, make an appointment with the dentist to have your teeth examined.
Possible Temporary Solutions for a Toothache
As we mentioned previously, if you’ve got tooth pain and you’re unable to get to the dentist, here are some possible temporary solutions to help alleviate that pain.
Over-the-counter oral anesthetics.
There are various gel (or liquid) products available that contain from 5% to 20% Benzocaine. Applying these OTC topical analgesics can bring some relief to an aching tooth. Be sure to follow directions upon application, and stop using the product if you experience any hypersensitivity reactions disclosed by the product’s manufacturer.
Use a saltwater rinse.
For a soothing warmth that can bring some relief, mix ½ teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of warm water (not hot water). Gently swish it around in your mouth, and then spit it out. Repeat as necessary.
An ice massage on the hand.
Believe it or not, scientific studies have indicated that acute dental pain can be lessened as much as 50% by massaging a specific area on the hand with ice. Place ice on the web between the thumb and index finger of the hand on the same side as the painful region, and gently massage the area. As a result, cold signals are sent to the spinal cord, and the body responds by reducing the pain in your teeth.
Apply ice or a cold compress directly to the source of pain
Your tooth might be sensitive to cold or hot, and if that’s the case, this particular temporary solution isn’t a good idea. In certain situations, however, applying a cold compress or ice directly on the pain source may work to alleviate some or all of your symptoms.
Hydrogen peroxide rinse
If your pain is caused by infection, rinsing with a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water will help to kill bacteria that cause infection. Gargle with it, without swallowing, spit it out and then rinse several times with water.
Though it’s not meant for anyone under the legal drinking age, an alcohol rinse is a possible solution to dull or alleviate pain. Alternatively, you can soak a cotton ball with Whiskey, scotch, vodka, or brandy, and place it directly on the source of pain to kill the germs around the affected tooth and numb the ache.
Peppermint, vanilla, almond, or lemon extract
Take a cotton swab or a cotton ball and soak it in one of these extracts. For a brief period, apply it directly to the source of pain.
While the best solution for taking care of your discomfort is to see your dentist and receive treatment for the cause of your pain, if you’re unable to make a dental appointment immediately, these home remedies will help you temporarily. If you need emergency dental care in the Gilbert, AZ area, give our Lifetime Family Dental office a call. We’ll do our best to accommodate you and set an appointment as soon as possible.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/18/2018) Tumisu (Pixabay)