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How to get rid of a toothache

Having a toothache is really no fun. It’s a dental emergency that we take very seriously because it’s one that can’t be ignored.

There are some methods that can temporarily relieve the pain of a toothache, however it’s always best to visit the dentist for more adequate treatment. This is especially because toothaches are often caused by more serious dental issues.

Common causes include:

  • Tooth decay – Tooth decay is one of the most common reasons for a toothache. Pain can occur when the nerve in the root of a tooth is irritated.
  • Misaligned teeth – Crooked or misaligned teeth can cause uneven pressure in the mouth. If you have crooked teeth and you notice persistent toothaches, it’s recommended you sought orthodontics treatment as a long-term treatment (orthodontics treatment also has many other benefits).
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding) – Some patients don’t even realise that they grind their teeth, as it’s quite common to do this in your sleep. However, your dentist will be able to tell if you suffer from grinding teeth as it causes them to wear down over time and expose the middle layers of the teeth (which can contribute to a toothache).
  • Gum disease – Plaque beneath the gum can cause damage to the bone and roots, causing your teeth to ache.
  • Dental abscesses and cysts – Tooth decay or gum disease can cause abscesses or cysts which can lead to more serious complications including toothaches, swelling in the jaw, or even difficulty breathing.

Tips to try at home:

  1. Take a painkiller

For immediate temporary headache relief, take an over-the-counter painkiller, such as Ibuprofen (Nurofen) or Paracetamol (Panadol).

This will help if you’re having difficulty sleeping and can’t get a dentist appointment until the next day.

  1. Apply a cold compress

Using a cold compress or an ice pack on the outside of your cheek may help to numb the pain.

Don’t apply it directly to your tooth as it is likely to be very sensitive because of the toothache.

  1. Rinse with saltwater

Saltwater works well to remove bacteria from your mouth. In fact, we recommend this at-home remedy for a few different dental scenarios. 

You should mix salt with lukewarm water as your teeth will be very sensitive if you have a toothache.

When to see your dentist

While these methods may work as a temporary pain relief, you should visit the dentist if your toothache persists. When toothaches are caused by more serious dental issues, we will treat those dental issues, not only as a preventative measure to stop toothaches, but to ensure the longevity of your teeth.

The longer you put off seeing a dentist, the more serious the problem could become and the more costly the treatment will be. That’s why we always recommended preventative treatment.

Maryborough Dental is your trusted dentist, dedicated to providing comfortable dental experiences and high-quality services. We’re currently open as usual and prioritising dental emergencies during the Coronavirus pandemic. We’re maintaining high standards of infection control under ADA guidelines and implementing extra precautions to keep our patients safe and healthy during this time. This includes spacing out appointments so that there is only one patient in the waiting room at a time, to maintain the recommended social distancing. It also includes constantly disinfecting all common areas and providing our patients with hand sanitiser.

To book an appointment, speak to one of our friendly team members on (07) 4122 2110.