Toothaches and abscessed teeth can be nearly impossible to ignore and your best bet is to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible. However, sometimes it can be difficult to make arrangements to be seen right away. So what can you do?
- Clean the area well with warm salt water rinses. Floss and brush carefully.
- If there is a broken tooth cover the broken area. You can use a temporary filling from the drugstore, or a soft wax.
- Take an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen. If the ibuprofen is not enough take some acetaminophen as well. Make sure to ask your pharmacist if these medications are safe for you to take. Combined ibuprofen and acetaminophen make a pretty good pain reliever.
- Use Anbesol, OraJel, or Benzocaine. These are anesthetic gels that can numb the area. They are similar to what the dentist might use prior to giving an injection. Don't place aspirin on the gums it will create a burn and will not provide pain relief.
- Experiment with different temperature liquids. Some toothaches are soothed by warm liquids others by very cold liquids. Oviously, if the tooth has been sensitive to cold, don't use cold liquids and if it has been sensitive to hot don't use warm liquids. But if it has not been particularly sensitive to variations in temperature, you may find that bathing or rinsing with warm or cold liquids may temporarily relieve the pain from your toothache.
- Try moist heat applied over your cheek or jaw. The best way to do this is to run warm water over a washcloth and then apply to the area.
- Try a cold pack or ice pack. Cold can numb the area.
- If you have swelling, you should be seen right away. Swelling from an abscessed tooth can become life threatening and require hospitalization.
Those are the techniques I would recommend. The main thing is to see a dentist. Pain is a sign from the body that something is not right. Even if your toothache goes away on its own, without treatment it will come back, and the damage may be even more extensive.
The emergency dentists at Legacy Dental, in Salt Lake City, UT are on-call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We always have same day dental appointments and will make every effort to see you as soon as possible. We'd love to help you.