Tooth pain can be caused by a variety of issues, including tooth decay, a damaged filling, a tooth fracture, infected gums, or an abscessed tooth. If severe enough, tooth pain can make it hard to eat, drink, or even talk. Before you reach for the over-the-counter numbing gel, remember that pain is a warning signal to your brain, alerting it that something isn’t right. The first step in any teeth pain treatment is to call your dentist for an evaluation. And while you wait for your appointment, here are some tooth pain remedies you can try:
Tip #1: Cold pack
To reduce inflammation and provide a comforting chill to your tooth, apply a cold pack or bag of frozen vegetables to the side of your face. Be sure to use a cloth as a buffer, and alternate periods with the cold pack on and off so you don’t damage your skin.
Tip #2: Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen will also reduce swelling, with the added benefit of blunting pain signals from your tooth to your brain. It’s important to take the medication as scheduled according to the product label.
Tip #3: Hot pack
Although hot packs don’t reduce swelling, they can feel just as soothing as a cold pack. If you don’t have a store-bought hot pack on hand, fill a clean sock with rice and tie the hole shut, then heat it in the microwave for a couple minutes. For a soothing scent, add some loose tea to the rice before heating.
Tip #4: Peppermint tea bags
Another clever use of tea in the treatment of tooth pain is to apply a peppermint tea bag directly to the source of the pain. Peppermint can provide a mild numbing effect, which is enhanced if you cool the tea bag in the freezer for a few minutes before using.
Tip #5: Salt water
To help clean potential infections and promote temporary pain relief, rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times a day. However, it’s a good idea to avoid swallowing the salt water while rinsing.
Tip #6: Acupressure
Acupressure is a type of massage in which practitioners use their fingers, palm, elbows, or special devices to apply pressure to “acupoints” on the body. Acupressure has been known to reduce tooth pain by causing the body to release endorphins. If it’s something you’re interested in trying, ask around to find a reputable provider in your area.
Tip #7: Numbing gel
Over-the-counter numbing gels work well on a temporary basis, but most brands advise against extended use. If you use a numbing gel, it’s best to use it in conjunction with another remedy.
Fix tooth pain at the root of the problem
Knowing how to stop tooth pain is valuable, but it’s no substitute for a thorough dental evaluation to get to the root of the problem. At Sedation and Implant Dentistry of Tehachapi, Dr. Sanchez offers a wide variety of procedures designed to optimize oral health. If you have tooth pain, call our Tehachapi dental office at (619) 272-6246 to schedule an appointment.