How can I relieve a toothache?


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Oral Hygiene and Dental Therapy
BOH (La Trobe)


What causes a toothache?

Toothache 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 as it can sometimes come out of nowhere and be very painful. Emergency dentistry allows you to receive treatment when you need it, especially handy for times when unexpected problems come up, like a toothache. At Smile Solutions we reserve a number of emergency appointments each day. 

What to do when you have a toothache

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.

With good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups most causes of toothache can be avoided. 

Having a good oral hygiene routine goes a long way to preventing many dental problems. You need to be brushing your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day and flossing once a day. Limiting sugar intake will help your teeth stay healthier as well. 

It is extremely important for your dental health to have check ups with your dentist every six months, as well as hygienist appointments every six months to get your teeth properly cleaned and ensure any problems can be found and treated early. 

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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*The contents of this blog post are of a general nature only and may not apply to your specific circumstances. As every person is different we always recommend that you visit a qualified dental practitioner to obtain tailored dental advice to suit your own specific needs.

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