What to do when you have a toothache
It’s important to both know the reasons why toothaches occur, and what you can do to take care of yourself if they do. If you get do experience a sudden and prolonged toothache, this knowledge will ensure you don’t panic and will know what to do - and who can take care of you.
Why do I have a toothache?
Toothaches normally occur for reasons related to tooth decay: in the worst cases this will be an abscessed tooth or infected nerve. Other forms of tooth damage - such as a damaged filling or incomplete dental work - can also cause an infection in the mouth. For some people, toothaches could even be the result of excessive tooth grinding!
Your toothache could be due to tooth trauma from an accident – if you’ve recently played sports, had a fall, bitten down on something hard, or been in a car accident, then check your mouth immediately to see if a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth is causing your toothache.
What can I do immediately until I can see the dentist?
For short-term relief, taking a painkiller such as ibuprofen is a good first step to numb the pain, as is applying a cold compress to the cheek on the side of your mouth that’s affected by the toothache. A salt-water rinse with warm water is also a good way to clean your mouth while helping to dislodge any pieces of tooth or anything else that might be causing pain in your mouth. You can also clean your teeth if possible, as this will also help to remove any unwanted debris from your mouth.
If the toothache is due to a broken or knocked out tooth, you’ll need to take greater care of your tooth until you can get to an emergency dentist. Using gauze to cover the broken tooth or affected area, or placing a knocked-out tooth into cold milk and bringing it to your dentist as soon as possible, are two ways you temporarily care for the affected area.
Home remedies to consider for toothache
Common home remedies for toothaches range from pouring alcohol onto a cotton ball and applying it to the affected tooth – which is unlikely to cure the toothache but may numb the pain for a time - to cleaning the painful area with a Q-tip dipped in hydrogen peroxide.
Although we have heard of all these home remedies before, unfortunately they do not work permanently and at best only give relief for an hour or so. Clove oil is also a common remedy for the pain of a toothache; you can try this by rubbing a few drops on the affected tooth area several times daily until the ache goes away.
The best solution for a toothache is seeing your dentist. Although trying home remedies may help you relieve the pain for a short period of time, it will not fix the problem. It can also be dangerous to put these substances in your mouth if you are not careful.
Getting emergency dental care at Naenae Dental
There’s no need to fear if you have a toothache and live in Wellington – emergency dentist appointments at Naenae Dental Clinic are possible with our extended opening hours: we’re open seven days a week and are open until 8 p.m. four evenings a week! Whatever time your toothache sets in, give us a call and find out how soon we can see you and help treat the affected area.
After your toothache has been treated, you can even visit our dental hygienist for a clean that’ll put you back on the right track to clean and healthy teeth – get in contact today for a checkup with the dentist Lower Hutt residents can trust!