Dental care and oral health information you need
from the Academy of General Dentistry


Saturday, October 25, 2014
Know Your Teeth Academy of General Dentistry Know Your Teeth

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What Causes a Toothache?

 
Chapter: Alleviate Toothache Pain

Anyone with a toothache should see a dentist at once for diagnosis and treatment because, if left untreated, your condition can worsen. However, if you are unable to schedule an emergency appointment, a self-care treatment can temporarily alleviate pain and inflammation from a toothache:

 

  • Rinse with warm salt water.
  • Gently floss teeth to dislodge any food particles trapped between teeth.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve pain. If your child has a toothache, use acetaminophen.
  • Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth, as it may burn the gum tissue.
  • Apply an over-the-counter antiseptic containing benzocaine directly to the irritated tooth and gum to temporarily relieve pain. Direct application of oil of cloves (eugenol) may also help to numb the gums. The oil may be rubbed directly on the sore area or soak a small piece of cotton and apply it to the sore tooth.
  •  If there has been some trauma to the tooth, a cold compress may be applied on the outside cheek to relieve pain or swelling. If your tooth has been knocked out, forced out of position, loosened or fractured, visit the dentist's office or a hospital emergency room immediately.

Reviewed: January 2012

 
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