When you cannot see a local emergency dentist right away, the pain of a toothache can drive you crazy. Here are five tips you can use to find some relief while you wait for an appointment with an emergency dentist.
1. Salt Water Rinses
A toothache can become much worse if an infection develops in the gum surrounding the damaged tooth. Using a salt water rinse several times a day is an easy way to kill bacteria and reduce the risk of infection setting in. Simply add table salt to warm water to make your own rinsing solution.
2. Ice Packs
To quickly relieve a toothache, wrap ice cubes or frozen peas in a towel and press them against your cheek. The cold should soon penetrate through to the sore tooth and bring down any swelling in the gum. Do not apply unwrapped ice to your skin as it can cause skin damage. It is also not a good idea to chew or suck on ice cubes because they sometimes have sharp edges that can scratch your gums.
3. Sleeping Upright
Many people experience worse toothache pain when they lie down to sleep. You might find that it helps to sleep more upright than usual. Use pillows to prop up your head, neck and shoulders, or snooze in a recliner until you are able to visit an emergency dental clinic.
4. Soft Foods
Eating when you have a toothache can be a very painful ordeal. Make mealtimes easier on yourself by sticking to soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, soup and oatmeal. Be sure to cook vegetables until they are completely soft and opt for fish or dairy rather than meat. Be careful to let cooked foods cool slightly before you start to eat, as excessive heat can trigger even more tenderness.
5. Pain Medicines
Most people can safely use over-the-counter pain medicines to relieve the pain of a toothache. Ibuprofen and paracetamol are both good options, and you can take these two medicines together if one alone does not provide adequate pain relief. Dentists do not recommend taking aspirin for a toothache because it increases the likelihood of your gums bleeding when you get dental treatment.
If you are not sure which medicines are safe for you to take, do not hesitate to ask a pharmacist to recommend suitable products for treating toothache. Be sure to stick to the recommended dose and see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.