What To Do If You Have a Toothache

Nothing ruins a great week more than a nuisance in your mouth.  I’m talking about those toothaches we sometimes get in life.  Whether it’s because of a cavity, wisdom teeth, or sensitivity, toothaches are never a good time.  Sometimes we may feel vulnerable to it in that we can’t necessarily diagnose ourselves.  But we’re here to give you some tips for relief.  Here’s what to do if you have a toothache.

 Call Your Dentist or Head to the ER

Obviously the first thing you want to do is call your dentist.  Regardless of how severe or light the pain is, you don’t want to take chances when it comes when it comes to your teeth.  You only get one permanent set and they’re hard to replace!  Depending on the severity and their availability, they may be able to schedule you right away.  However, if it’s a holiday or they’re closed and the pain is pretty sever, you may just want to head over to the Emergency Room.  Again, this isn’t something to be taken lightly.  If the pain is severe, there’s no shame in going to the emergency.

If you’re able to schedule an appointment but you want some relief until then, the following tips are definitely going to help!

Take Some Pain Reliever

Advil and Ibuprofen is always great when it comes to pain relief.  If you’ve never taken any of these types of medication, please be sure to consult with your doctor.  Pain relievers help with the swelling of the area and relief some of the pressure causing a toothache.

You can also apply some Orajel or any type of oral numbing agent to the area.  This helps with the swelling and obviously numbs the area.  Keep in mind, this is all for temporary relief until you see your dentist.

Apply Some Cold Packs

If you prefer a more natural remedy as opposed to medication, cold packs work well to numb the area.  Place a cold pack of vegetables to the side of your face that is in pain.  Or suck on some ice (but don’t bite!) until your appointment.

Use Clove Oil

Clove Oil is an essential oil that can be found at most health food stores (Whole Foods or Sprouts).  Place a little bit of oil on a cotton swab and dab the area effected.  Clove oil provides the same pain relief as benzocaine, but it is a more natural alternative.  Again, always check with your dentist or doctor before using and make sure your skin doesn’t react badly to it.

Use a Salt Rinse

Mix in some salt with some warm water and rinse for 30 seconds.  Do this 4-5 times a day.  Who knows, the root to your pain could just be a sesame seed stuck under gum line!

Keep Your Head Elevated

Keeping your head elevated can reduce the swelling in your teeth.  If it’s going to be more than a day before you see your dentist, sleep with your head elevated to reduce the swelling.


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Dr. Del Greenhalgh
Green Family Dental
10510 Montwood Drive
El Paso, TX 79935
(915) 778-4681