My Tooth Hurts What Can I Do?
Toothaches are unpleasant and can range in pain from annoying to severe. Below, read on to learn about tooth pain and how to best take care of it.
What can I do for severe tooth pain and how to stop it?
The fastest and most effective way to help alleviate severe tooth pain is to use an over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and aspirin.
Additionally, a numbing gel that contains benzocaine can help minimize the pain.
Keep in mind, should pain persist for more than a day or two, it is essential that you see a dentist to determine the source of the pain and how to best remedy it.
What is the best painkiller for a toothache?
The best painkiller for tooth pain is over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as:
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
- NSAIDs not only work as painkillers but will also reduce inflammation.
What is the fastest way to stop a toothache at home?
If you are home and cannot get to a dentist, there are several at-home remedies you can try to help relieve a toothache.
A saltwater rinse
Saltwater is a natural disinfectant and can help break up any food particles or debris stuck between your teeth. Also, saltwater helps oral wounds heal faster and will reduce existing inflammation.
Hydrogen peroxide rinse
Hydrogen peroxide will kill harmful bacteria in the mouth, as well as heal bleeding gums. Similar to saltwater rinses, hydrogen peroxide can reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Keep in mind a hydrogen peroxide rinse must be diluted:
- Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water to use as a mouth wash
- Do not swallow
Cold compresses work to constrict blood vessels, helping to lower pain severity. If you have experienced any dental trauma, a cold compress can help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
How To Make a Cold Compress:
- Fill a bag of ice and wrap it in a towel or washcloth
- Apply a cold compress to the affected area 20 minutes and repeat every few hours
Peppermint tea bags
A commonly unknown home remedy, peppermint tea bags! Peppermint tea compresses can help numb pain and lower sensitivity in the gums.
How to Use Peppermint Tea Bags for Tooth Pain:
- Let a used tea bag cool down
- When it is slightly warm, apply it to the affected area.
- You can also put the used tea bag in the freezer for a few minutes to allow it to chill before applying it to the affected tooth or gum.
Garlic kills harmful bacteria and may also relieve pain.
How to use garlic for tooth pain:
- Crush a clove of garlic to make a paste
- Apply garlic paste directly to the affected area
- Additionally, slowly chewing a clove of fresh garlic may be helpful.
Vanilla extract contains small amounts of alcohol that can help reduce and numb a toothache. Simply add a bit to a cotton ball or finger and apply it to the area in need.
Additional natural remedies for toothaches:
- Guava leaves
What causes the pain in a toothache?
Tooth pain is felt when the nerve in the root of a tooth or the surrounding area is irritated or inflamed.
The most common causes of tooth pain are:
- Tooth decay
- Injury or dental trauma
- Loss or extraction of a tooth
At times, an aching tooth is mistaken when the pain originates from other areas and will radiate to the jaw. The most common areas that radiate pain to the jaw include:
- Ear Pain or Infection
- The jaw joint (temporomandibular joint or TMJ)
- In rare cases, heart issues
If you are experiencing pain, visit your dentist to rule out any underlying causes and to obtain toothache relief. Maintaining a consistent dental hygiene and oral health program will prevent the majority of dental problems.
Why Do My Teeth Hurt?
There are several reasons why your teeth might hurt. Below are the most common causes:
- Injury or trauma to your mouth or jaw
- Sinus infection
- Tooth decay and infection or abscess
- Broken or a lost filling may expose the nerve inside the tooth
- Cracked tooth
- Food or debris stuck between teeth
- Receding gums
- Wisdom teeth crowning
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and jaw pain
- Gum disease
- Teeth grinding
What To Do When You Have Tooth Pain When Eating?
If you find that you have dental pain when eating, you may have sensitive teeth. When you have sensitive teeth, certain activities can be bothersome, such as brushing, flossing, eating, and drinking.
Other factors, however, may be the cause of your tooth pain while eating and biting down:
- Cracked, broken or chipped tooth
- Worn filling
- Gum disease
If pain persists, it is important to contact a local dentist for an exam and to recommend the best treatment.
How To Get Rid of Toothache From the Nerve
Nerve pain will often come on as sudden, sharp, and stabbing type pain that radiates pain from your teeth. While isolated episodes may not be an immediate cause to worry, it may be wise to seek dental care to evaluate the underlying cause.
In the meantime, there are a few short-term fixes you can employ to minimize nerve pain:
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash
- Adhere to a healthy diet
- Avoid chewing ice
- Avoid sweet or sticky foods
To help prevent tooth nerve pain, below are some tips to follow:
- Use a gentle, soft-bristled toothbrush
- Floss regularly
- Limit acidic foods and drinks
- Consider a mouth guard if you grind your teeth
If you find that tooth and nerve pain persists after trying to reduce symptoms at home, it is essential that you contact your dentist to treat the underlying cause and prevent further discomfort.
How To Fall Asleep With Toothache Pain
Toothaches will often impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Below are some steps that may help you get some relief and more rest:
- Over the counter pain medication
- Elevating your head higher than your body
- Avoid acidic, cold or hard foods before bed
- Use of a mouthwash containing alcohol to help disinfect and numb the affected area
- Use of a cold compress or ice pack before bed
Why Is Tooth Pain Worse At Night?
Often, tooth pain may seem to get worse at right, just as you are trying to get to sleep. The most likely reason why pain is worse at night is due to the position of your body and blood flow.
When you are lying down, blood rushes to your head, increasing pain and pressure in the affected area.
Why Does Tooth Pain Come and Go?
Tooth pain may be experienced in many different ways. Often, people describe tooth pain as coming and going, like a dull throbbing. This may be related to blood flow, increasing pressure in the affected area.
Pain may also increase when chewing or eating a meal, or when an affected tooth comes into contact with hot or cold temperatures.
When To See a Dentist for Tooth Pain
If you are experiencing severe, persistent tooth pain that does not go away with over-the-counter pain relievers or at-home remedies, it is important to contact your dentist to rule out a more serious medical condition.
Contact a dentist if you experience the following symptoms of proper care:
- Pain that lasts more than one to two days
- Pain when you bite down
- Very red and inflamed gums
- Unpleasant discharge or pus
- Trouble swallowing or breathing
Can I Prevent Toothache?
The best way to prevent dental problems and tooth pain is to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- Brush teeth twice daily
- Use dental floss and if needed, a daily mouthwash
- Limit sugary food and drinks
- Refrain from smoking
- Obtain regular dental exams and cleaning