Toothache can sometimes be a real and persistent nuisance that can prevent you from focusing on anything else. Experiencing it in the daytime can significantly lower your productivity. Feeling it at night can render your dreaming time sleepless.
It is always highly recommended to visit a dentist in Sacramento, CA, as soon as you can when experiencing tooth pain. But while you make your way to an expert, here are some remedies to ease your pain in the meantime.
Saltwater swishing can loosen or remove the debris between your teeth, easing the compression that can relieve your toothache. In addition, saltwater is antiseptic as well as anti-inflammatory and can also reduce swelling.
Mix half a teaspoon of salt with a glass of warm water and gargle with it. Its disinfectant properties can also reduce the infection if there is one.
If swelling around your tooth is causing it to hurt, compressing it with ice can help. You can use an ice pack or wrap a cloth around frozen peas or ice cubes and press it for 15 minutes on your cheek against the hurting tooth.
If it doesn’t help, you can also try holding ice-cold water in your mouth for 2 to 3 minutes. You can massage the affected area with an ice cube as well, and it should relax your swelled gums and face.
Over the Counter Medicines:
After consulting your doctor, you can take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. If you can’t take NSAIDs, though, you can also use acetaminophen to reduce inflammation.
These medicines cause our body to slow down the release of ‘pain chemicals.’ Remember not to give a child under the age of 16 years aspirin. Get them to take acetaminophen instead.
Activated charcoal is used in hospitals against poisoning. It is a substance extracted from carbon and can be effective against tooth pain. It is available in most health food stores and comes in the form of powder and paste.
You can mix the activated charcoal powder with water to form a paste. Apply it on a gauge or any other thin material and bite down on it.
Garlic has antiseptic properties and can relieve pain. You can soak a cotton ball in garlic oil and place it on your hurting tooth. You can also crush a garlic clove and apply its paste to the affected area. Chewing garlic is also an option, but not everyone would like it, although it can’t be worse than a hurting tooth, can it?
Floss or Brush:
Floss between your teeth or brush them to remove any debris that might be stuck. Often, a toothache is a result of pressure building due to lodged debris in between the teeth. Some toothpaste also contains anti-inflammatory substances that can help in bringing the inflammation down.
Laying flat can worsen tooth pain as the blood flow to your head increases and blood pools in the hurting areas. Elevating your head by placing two or three pillows or sitting up straight can help reduce the blood flow and bring the throbbing sensation down.
Eugenol or Dried Cloves:
Eugenol or clove oil is available in most health food stores. It is commonly used in many dental practices as it has antiseptic and anesthetic properties. Soak a cotton ball in the oil and place it on the affected tooth. Make sure you don’t swallow any of it.
Cloves have natural anesthetic and bacteria-killing properties. You can place a dried clove between the tooth that is hurting and your cheek. It will not only relieve the pain by numbing the area but also kill the bacteria present there.
Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution by mixing equal parts with water. It kills bacteria and reduces inflammation. Use it as a mouthwash, and make sure you don’t swallow any of it.
Yarrow is a plant with anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used by people for ages as a natural painkiller. You can apply yarrow oil on the hurting tooth and chew the yarrow plant roots for pain relief.
Cayenne Pepper Oil:
Chili peppers’ property of giving a burning sensation is lent to them by capsaicin, a substance found inside them. Capsaicin numbs the area it comes in contact with. You can soak a cotton ball with cayenne pepper oil and place it on the affected area to render it numb.
Swilling with whiskey can comfort your toothache as it is a natural antiseptic. The use of whiskey and other strong liquors to ease pain has been around for centuries. Other than killing bacteria causing you pain, it numbs the area it comes in contact with, alleviating your pain.
You can place a used tea bag in your freezer for a few minutes before putting it on your hurting tooth. You can also apply a warm (but not hot) tea bag to the affected area. Peppermint tea is excellent as it kills bacteria. But don’t use this method too often, as tea can stain your teeth.
Vanilla can help reduce inflammation. Apply a tiny amount on your finger or a cotton ball and gently rub it on the affected area.
You can chew on some guava leaves or make yourself guava leaf tea and rinse your mouth with it. Guava leaves kill bacteria and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Thyme oil is also a good option for relieving tooth pain. Mix a drop of oil in a cup of water and swish it in your mouth or mix a drop with a small amount of water and soak a cotton ball in it and place it on the affected tooth.
Causes of Toothache
Your teeth have a soft pulp inside them that has nerves, blood vessels, and tissues. These nerves are susceptible and cause severe pain if they get irritated by bacteria or compressed by debris or swelling around the tooth.
There are several causes of a toothache, and it is best to see a dentist in Sacramento, CA, if you have one.
The sharp sensation you get on your teeth when you eat or drink something hot and cold results from sensitive teeth. Your teeth are naturally protected by an outer layer called enamel. This layer protects the inner nerves from coming in contact with whatever goes in your mouth.
With time, and if proper care is not taken, enamel starts wearing off, leaving the middle layer of the teeth exposed to whatever you eat and drink. The food reaches the nerve endings, and you receive that sharp sensation.
Sometimes, gums also shrink away from the teeth due to disease, leaving the roots of the teeth exposed. Recent or damaged fillings, recent whitening treatments, and brushing too hard can cause sensitivity as well.
When you are younger, your gums are soft, but your gums start to harden as you grow up. So, teething with hard gums is much more painful as teeth push through the gums.
Every time you eat or drink something, bacteria cling to your teeth. As the food particles in your mouth start to get old, more and more bacteria attack your teeth until you brush your teeth and get rid of them. These bacteria produce an acid that makes holes, called cavities, in your enamel.
If your face gets hit by something or you bite down on something hard, your teeth or a single tooth can get cracked. These cracks have the same negative implications as cavities. Both of them let the inner layer of your tooth get exposed to external threats. If the crack or cavity is deep enough, it can even lead the bacteria to where your tooth pulp is, causing an infection.
A habit of grinding your teeth while sleeping or due to stress can also wear off your enamel and sometimes even cause a crack.
Sometimes, the problem is not in your tooth. There are no signs of damage or cavity, but the pain still persists. In that case, the culprit may be a sinusitis problem. Suppose the tooth pain is followed by nasal congestion or tenderness around your sinuses, and only your upper teeth of both sides hurt. In that case, sinusitis is probably causing the pain. It is not a very common cause of toothache, but the pain can be severe.
The joints and muscles that connect your jaw to your skull can also sometimes cause tooth pain. Certain types of headaches like migraines or clusters can also sometimes incite tooth pain.
Symptoms of a Tooth Infection
Suppose your tooth enamel decays due to the reasons mentioned above, and bacteria can find their way to the inner pulp of your teeth. In that case, they can cause pus to form. A tooth abscess has to be treated by a dentist and will not go away on its own. A tooth infection or abscess can cause severe pain and can quickly spread to your neck, head, and other body parts.
There are three types of infections that can cause abscess:
This type of infection is usually caused by periodontitis or gum disease. It starts with bones and tissues that support your tooth. But it can spread pretty quickly if left untreated.
When the bacteria reach the blood vessels and nerves through a crack or cavity, they infect the pulp, spreading to the root’s tip. Such infection spreads to the bone and causes an abscess.
This infection starts in the gums and usually stays there, not affecting the teeth and bones.
Tooth infections are quick to spread to body parts around your face, but in very rare cases, they can also reach your heart (endocarditis) and your brain (bacterial meningitis)
The symptoms of a tooth infection or abscess are:
- Throbbing and severe tooth pain that can travel to your neck, ear, or jawbone
- Teeth feeling hot and cold due to sensitivity
- Difficulty in breathing, swallowing, and chewing
- Feeling relief in pain with a foul-smelling and foul-tasting liquid rushing your mouth
- Swelling on your face or cheek
- Sensitivity to biting or chewing
- Swollen or tender lymph nodes
- Persistent bad breath that doesn’t go away with the use of a mouthwash
- Loosening of teeth
- Swollen or red gums
- A general feeling of illness and discomfort
Prevention is better than cure, and you should always try to prevent the discomfort and pain of toothaches and tooth infections. Follow the essential practices of teeth cleanliness and abstain from teeth damaging habits. You will most likely stay protected from teeth infections and pain. These general cleanliness practices include,
- Brushing your teeth twice a day. Make sure you don’t brush aggressively, as it can damage your gums and cause tooth enamel decay
- Using a toothpaste that contains fluoride as your teeth benefit from it
- Flossing once every day to remove debris
- Regularly visiting your dentist and telling them early if you feel any discomfort or pain in your gums or mouth
- Quitting smoking as it increases the risk of tooth problems
- Limiting sugary and starchy foods
- Using a mouthwash regularly
- Drinking water instead of sugary drinks
A toothache can be a sign of a significant teeth problem, and it is recommended you go to a dentist as soon as you start feeling tooth pain. You can book an appointment with us at Soft Touch, a dentist in Sacramento if you are experiencing discomfort in your mouth or for a routine checkup.