The pain you feel because of a toothache can be extremely annoying or unbearable. When you start feeling pain due to throbbing teeth and gums, seeing your dentist should be a priority. However, there will be times that a dentist appointment couldn’t be possible—especially now that we’re fighting the coronavirus pandemic that requires you to do social distancing and stay at home.
In times like this, home remedies are your next best shot for short-term relief. There are safe home remedies you can easily do that experts say relieve toothache fast. Here are some of them:
Rinse Your Mouth with Warm Saltwater
A saltwater rinse is just salt and warm water, but it can clean the infected area and take out any infected fluid from inside your mouth. According to New York-based dentist Jennifer Jablow, using a saltwater rinse can reduce inflammation, help clear out bacteria, and promote healing.
To make a saltwater rinse, just mix half a teaspoon of salt to 6 to 8 ounces of warm water. Once the salt dissolves, swish the solution around your mouth. After 20 to 30 seconds, spit it out and repeat the process once or twice.
Rub Sensitive Toothpaste After You Brush Your Teeth
Formulated for sensitive teeth, sensitive toothpaste can also relieve general tooth pain and can be used for spot-treating toothaches.
Kristen Geist, DDS, recommends rubbing a small amount of the sensitive toothpaste around the painful or sensitive tooth after brushing your teeth. It’s recommended to apply twice a day to help subdue pain in your tooth and surrounding gums.
Apply a Dab of Clove Oil
Clove oil is known as a natural numbing agent that soothes nerve pain. According to Jablow, a dab of the oil can also be used to relieve toothache pain.
Just dip a cotton swab or cotton ball to absorb a small amount of the oil (don’t drench the tip). Hold it against the aching tooth for around 5 to 10 minutes or until you feel relieved.
Take an Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever
Geist says that ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are effective in managing tooth pain. You don’t need a prescription for these as they are available over the counter. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medicine, while acetaminophen is a pain-reliever. For dosing instructions, you can call your dentist or check the medicine label.
What Causes a Toothache?
The American Dental Association (ADA) says that toothache can be due to cavity, gum disease, abscess, or an impacted tooth. Mayo Clinic adds sinus infection, food build-up between the teeth, and trauma like a fall that damaged a tooth to the list of possible causes.
Toothaches can also be caused by nerve irritation. This is when the tooth pulp, the soft part of your tooth where the nerve is found, becomes irritated.
It can also be because tissues around your tooth have become irritated. This may require a root canal.
When Should You See a Dentist?
Aside from general pain and throbbing, Geist says that you should call a dentist if you notice swelling, fever, pus, and other signs of infection like bleeding, foul taste in the mouth, and extreme sensitivity to hot and cold.
If you can’t see your dentist due to the pandemic, try calling for a prescription for antibiotics that will get you through while on quarantine.