If you are suffering from a toothache, contact your dentist. You may have to wait before being seen, so what can you do at home?? What remedies might work? While waiting to see your dentist, there may be several things you can do at home to help with toothache relief…
1. Painkillers for toothache relief
A variety of over-the counter painkillers are useful for oral pain. These include:
- Ibuprofen (Advil)
- Tylenol/Paracetamol with codeine.
Ibuprofen often provides the best pain relief for toothache as it both relieves pain and reduces inflammation.
However only take any medicine if you know it is suitable for you. For example, ibuprofen is not suitable if you have stomach ulcers or are asthmatic. Aspirin is not suitable if you have any bleeding disorders. If in doubt, always get advice from your doctor/dentist and/or pharmacist on which pain relief you can take.
Always stick to the recommended dose of any medication.
Never leave an aspirin tablet resting beside the tooth! This will not help cure the pain, and may burn your gums as aspirin is acidic!
Click here for more advice on analgesics.
2. In the case of severe toothache and/or abscess in the mouth. Applying hot or cold compresses to the area may give some relief. For example, use an ice pack or a hot-water bottle against the cheek. Place it on for around 15 minutes at a time. Alternating between warm and cold compresses may help. Of course, be careful not to use extremes of temperature.
3. This is obvious; avoid anything that makes the pain worse. For example:
- If the tooth is sensitive, avoid very hot or cold drinks.
- If you are having difficulty sleeping, try propping your head up with pillows. Raising your head will help reduce the pressure inside the tooth, which in turn may provide some fast relief.
4. In the case of a cavity or fractured tooth that is very sensitive, there are a few things homemade cures you can try. These toothache remedies work by shielding the inside of the tooth from any heat/cold:
- Sugar free gum placed into the cavity or over the fractured part of the tooth.
- A small cotton bud. Soaking a bud with some clove oil may help settle the nerve.
- ‘Temporary filling kits’ are available in many pharmacists. These can be useful as a short-term cure until you get to see your dentist. Can provide an instant remedy if a tooth is sensitive only. They should not be left for longer than a few days at most.
5. Pain from sore or swollen gums, and wisdom teeth pain can be alleviated by:
- Antiseptic mouthwashes and gels. Even luke-warm salty water rinses can help.
- Over-the-counter mouthwashes and gels that numb the gums slightly may be useful. Benzocaine (USA), Benzydamine (UK), Orajel and Anbesol are examples.
6. In the case of a large swelling, if you cannot see a dentist immediately, you may need to attend a local hospital rather than wait. In particular, seek immediate advice if the swelling seems to be spreading quickly. Such swellings can be dangerous if not treated immediately.
7. Pain after dental treatment. This is common but often only temporary. Your dentist will usually warn you of what to do in the event of problems after treatment. If problems persist contact your dental practice. See more (click links) on toothache after filling, after root canal or dry socket after extraction (here).
If you have a toothache, get along to your dentist! It is usually a sign that something needs attention. Attending your dentist may sound like an obvious statement to make, but there are many who wait in the hope that things will get better without help.
Of course this delay often only results in making things worse! There are several things you can do to help with toothache relief while you are waiting for professional help, but always make sure to attend!
- See what treatment may be needed here,
- More quick tips
- A list of pain causes and types,
- Or return to main page on toothache.