If you suddenly experience a toothache, yet it is the middle of the night or a weekend, you need to have ways to alleviate the pain until you can be seen. Toothaches can not only cause you severe discomfort, but can make it difficult to function in your daily activities. Understanding how you can minimize the pain until the dentist opens for business can help you to stay comfortable in the meantime.
If your toothache is minor, sometimes an over-the-counter ibuprofen is enough to take the pain away. This will help with any swelling and discomfort you may be feeling. It is best to take it before the pain gets out of hand in order to keep the pain manageable. In addition to ibuprofen, there are several other methods you can use at home to stay comfortable:
- Keep it cool – A cold compress or ice pack on the outside of the area that hurts can also help to decrease the swelling and minimize the pain.
- Wash the area – Sometimes food debris is stuck in an area that causes the pain. In order to determine if this is the problem, wash the area out with warm water. If you are able to swish hard enough, try to get back to the area where the pain is to see if anything becomes dislodged. This may eliminate the pain altogether.
- Rinse with salt water – Warm water mixed with a tablespoon of table salt can also provide comfort to the area that hurts. You can safely do this several times a day, allowing you to find some relief until you are able to be seen.
If you are unable to get comfortable, found a piece of your tooth that cracked off or lost a tooth completely, you might need to be seen on an emergency basis. This is especially important if you lost a tooth altogether. If you still have the tooth and can make it to the dentist right away, you might be able to save your natural tooth. No matter what happens, you should always see the dentist as soon as you are able when a toothache occurs, even if the pain goes away. You never know what the underlying problem may be. Allowing the dentist perform an examination of the area can help you get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to get you out of pain and to ensure good future oral health.