How can I relieve a toothache?

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Oral Hygiene and Dental Therapy
BOH (La Trobe)

toothacheToothache is pain associated with the teeth, and it is most commonly caused by decay. Other causes of painful teeth include cracks or fractures of the teeth, infected gums, a habit of clenching or grinding (usually during sleep) and increased dental sensitivity.

Toothache is a common reason for emergency dental treatment, but with good oral hygiene and regular checkups most causes of toothache can be avoided.

If you are experiencing extremely painful teeth, or any other extreme discomfort and/or swelling, you should call your dentist immediately and make an appointment to have urgent treatment.

If you’re experiencing toothache that is not extreme, and you can’t get to your dentist immediately, here are a few remedies you can try in order to ease the discomfort until you can see your dentist:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salty water;
  • Brush with a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth, and floss thoroughly;
  • Apply a cold compress to the painful area;
  • Pain relievers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be taken as directed on the packet to ease discomfort;
  • Oil of cloves, which is a product found in most health food stores, can be applied to the painful teeth with a cotton swab. The oil has numbing and antibacterial qualities that can help ease sensitivity.

Finally, don’t put off your visit to the dentist. The best place to be, if you’re suffering toothache, is in the dental chair.

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