Much of the discomfort that comes from a toothache is due to inflammation and swelling in the area of the tooth or gum tissue. Taking Ibuprofen medication (available under a number of common brand names) or other type of anti-inflammatory medication can alleviate discomfort for a few hours until you’re able to get professional dental care. Do not use aspirin directly on top of the area experiencing the discomfort. This is an older technique that some people recommend, but rather than correcting the pain, it can lead to chemical burns on the gums, creating severe tissue damage and further complications.
Rinse with warm salt water
Salt water is ideal for rinsing areas of infection, such as swollen gums, because it cleans the area and helps to naturally draw out inflammation. Stir one tablespoon of table salt in 250ml of warm water until dissolved. Rinse your mouth for several seconds at a time until you’ve used all of the water. This can be repeated every hour or so.
Alternate warm and cold compresses
Depending on the type of pain or discomfort you’re experiencing, applying alternating warm and cold compresses to the side of your face may help. Hold the warm compress in place for 10-15 minutes and replace it with a cold compress for the same amount of time. Doing so will reduce swelling and works well for people that have had oral surgery or are experiencing discomfort associated with wisdom tooth development.
Make ‘miracle mouthwash’
Patients with cold sores, canker sores, ulcers or other types of pain in their mouth can benefit from topical pain relief by rinsing with a special home-made mouthwash. This aids in pain relief during recovery of mild irritations or before the patient can be seen by the dentist. To make the rinse, use one part milk of magnesia and one part liquid antihistamine and mix thoroughly. Apply it directly to the area of discomfort, or rinse with it for several seconds. Be sure to spit it out thoroughly and do not swallow the mixture.
Various essential oils have holistic qualities that target and relieve specific types of ailments, including bleeding or sensitive gums. Applying one or two drops of the appropriate oil to your toothbrush or in a small cup of water to use as a mouth rinse can reduce inflammation and discomfort in some types of oral conditions. Commonly used oils for dental purposes include lavender, peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus and tea tree blends.
Avoid whitening products
Are you using a whitening toothpaste, rinse, or home kit? The active ingredients in whitening solutions naturally open up the pores of the teeth and can create severe sensitivity in some circumstances, especially when gum recession or tooth decay is present. Discontinue using these products and change to a sensitive formula toothpaste until your dentist can check the areas or recommend a high-grade professional whitening product instead, after treating your tooth pain.
Call your dentist as soon as any pain starts
It’s important to contact your dentist if pain is severe or does not go away. Smile by Design is always ready to treat your dental emergency. Call us on 1800 888 645 or book an appointment online. We are usually able to see you the day of your call. If you experience pain after-hours, you can leave a message for one of our on-call staff. Providing dental treatment for your comfort and oral health are our primary concerns and putting care off too long can only cause further complications and even the need for more invasive treatment – even if you’re able to tolerate the discomfort.