Not all toothache remedies are created equal
Toothache does not discriminate when it comes to inconvenience and will often come on suddenly or after hours when it is impossible to make an appointment to see your dental health professional. This has lead many to come up with some creative remedies to numb the pain.
It may seem like common sense, but using Super Glue to fill a sensitive cavity yourself is rarely a good idea. And putting aspirin or clove oil near a sore tooth could add to your misery by causing severe soft-tissue burns, compounding your list of complaints.
Rinsing with alcohol may seem like a good way to numb the tenderness associated with a periodontal abscess or dental infection, but ultimately the morning after will reveal you have added to your misery while the crux of the problem has yet to be addressed.
The above scenarios are just some of a range of creative self-help remedies we have seen over the years.
A toothache can have a myriad of causes and range in severity from a sensitive cavity or loose filling, to an exposed area of tooth root or a jaw joint disorder. In some cases, it may not even be the tooth that is causing the problem and the pain may be courtesy of chewing muscle spasm or something non tooth-related.
Equally, the severity of the pain can vary greatly from mild soreness through to an intense throbbing in your teeth or along your jaw.
There are some safe and inexpensive options which can help to relieve the symptoms of a toothache until such time that you can visit your nearest surgery.
Ways to alleviate toothache temporarily
You may consider taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, every four hours, providing you don’t have any other medical contra-indications such as asthma or stomach ulcers. In severe cases this can be combined with a pain and fever reliever such as paracetamol to offer better short-term pain relief.
In the case of a sharp broken tooth, kits containing a small amount of temporary filling material are available from the Chemist, and can be used to cover the exposed area until you can get to the dentist.
Sometimes, the pain of a toothache will go away after a day or two. However, it’s important to remember that just because the pain in your tooth has gone away that doesn’t mean the problem has been addressed.
This is particularly true in the case of an acute or chronic infection where the body’s natural defenses will kick in and fight the infection and seemingly rid you of your pain. Frequently, the infection will remain in your system and will almost certainly return at a time when you least expect it.
Why it’s still a good idea to see your dentist
If the cause of the pain is found to be an inflamed or infected nerve, the only response is professional dental treatment, where prescription-only medicine must be placed directly into the affected area or the infection drained, the tooth must be extracted or problems with the root canal system addressed. Oral antibiotics will not be effective in treating the infection if it originates from a swollen or dead nerve inside the tooth.
For the reasons outlined above, it is advised to get any source of oral or dental pain checked by your dentist to rule out any further issues.
We reserve time each day to see patients who may be suffering from painful dental emergencies. Please call us as early in the day as possible, on 9185 4849, if you need to arrange an emergency appointment.