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What To Do If You Have Toothache 

There are few things in life as awful as a toothache; not only does it hurt (sometimes to a huge degree), but it can be hugely disruptive, too – you can’t work, you can’t focus, you get irritable, and you might not even be able to eat or drink properly. That sharp, throbbing pain in your mouth can leave you in total agony and feeling terrible, so it’s great to know that there are things you can do if you have toothache that will certainly help. Read on to find out more. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Why Is It There? 

When the first twinge of a toothache makes itself known, it’s useful to know where it is exactly and why it’s happening. Take a moment – even if it’s difficult – to work out how it feels. Is it a dull ache, a sharp pain, or perhaps a constantly throbbing sensation, for example? Knowing this can help you work out the source more easily, or at least understand why it’s happening. 

Sometimes toothache can be triggered by something as simple as food being stuck between your teeth, and carefully brushing and flossing can relieve the pain. Sometimes it’s because you’ve eaten something particularly sugary, or perhaps because you cracked a tooth on something hard. If you know what the cause is, it’s easier to deal with. 

Home Remedies 

Although your dentist will be very helpful (and we’ll discuss this below), there are some home remedies that can, if not solve the problem, at least give you some relief from the pain. One of the simplest and most effective home remembers for toothache is rinsing your mouth with saltwater, which is just a matter of dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in warm water and using it as a mouthwash. 

You can also get non-prescription pain relievers over the counter at pharmacies and most supermarkets, and something containing ibuprofen can help ease the pain and inflammation. Make sure you follow the recommended dosage in the instructions, and if you’re taking any other medication, speak to your doctor first. 

See Your Dentist 

While home remedies can be excellent temporary relief from toothache, they’re not going to get to the core of the problem, and that’s why it’s crucial to make an appointment to see your dentist if the pain goes on for more than a few days. 

Toothaches can be caused by various things, like cavities, infections, and gum disease, and a dentist will be able to identify the underlying cause and work out the best form of treatment. This could be a thorough professional dental cleaning, or it could be suggesting it’s time to try dentures – or anything in between. 

In the meantime, if your toothache is so bad you can’t sleep, eat, work, and so on, or if you also have swelling, fever, or difficulty swallowing, you’ll need to get emergency care, as you might have an infection, and it’s best not to wait too long to be seen to. Once the infection is cleared up, you can see your regular dentist to make sure it doesn’t happen again.