Our general dentist says toothaches are the body's way of communicating that something is wrong. It can be caused by tooth decay wearing down a tooth or bacteria infecting the soft tissues in the pulp chamber.
Most cases of toothaches are caused by cavities – which are small holes that form on teeth due to tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria feast on food particles that are left on teeth after meals. The bacteria combine with acids they produce and food particles to form plaque. This is a sticky film that forms on teeth surfaces and it hardens into tartar when left on teeth for prolonged periods. Plaque can be removed by brushing but the same cannot be said for tartar. Tartar sticks on teeth until a dentist scrapes it off during a dental cleaning.
Our general dentist talks toothache relief
Here are some simple things that can provide temporary relief from toothaches:
1. Saltwater rinse
Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water can help to reduce tooth pain. About a teaspoon of salt should be mixed with water and swished around the mouth. This will help to get rid of debris that might be aggravating the tooth and it kills bacteria that might be triggering the pain.
2. Over-the-counter painkillers
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can bring relief to those dealing with toothaches. Patients are advised to follow the manufacturer's recommendations on how often these drugs should be taken. They should never break down the pills and apply them directly to the area the pain is coming from since this can damage soft tissues.
3. Cold compress
An ice pack can help to reduce tooth pain and it also reduces any swelling that accompanies the pain. Swelling can be a sign of an infection. Therefore patients should keep their eyes out for other signs of infection like pus coming from the tooth. An infection requires immediate dental treatment to ensure the problem does not worsen.
4. Over-the-counter anesthetics
Over-the-counter anesthetics often contain benzocaine and they are an effective way to get relief from a toothache. These products will make the area the pain is coming from numb, and this effect is felt within minutes.
5. Clove/Peppermint oil
This is one of the most effective natural remedies for tooth pain. These oils can be directly applied on the tooth and they provide quick relief. These oils can be more effective than anesthetics like benzocaine.
Garlic has compounds that have a numbing effect. The garlic should be ground into a paste and applied to the tooth. It provides some relief from toothaches at the price of awful breath.
Get treatment for your toothache
The only way to put your toothache behind you is by seeing a dentist. The oral professional will evaluate you and recommend the best course of action. Call or visit our Brooklyn to start the process.
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