Any kind of pain in our bodies is annoying and distracting, but the pain in the mouth can reach a whole different level of discomfort. Toothaches can get in the way of our ability to enjoy food or even to be present in a moment with friends or family. If you sense a cavity may be the cause of recent tooth pain, scheduling a trip to the dentist is the best way to go about alleviating that pain permanently. That said, we all know that things can get quite busy, and there’s a chance you may have to wait a week or so to get into the dentist’s office, leaving you with pain in your mouth for several days before being treated. Fear not! There are a few at-home and over-the-counter remedies that can help you relieve some of the discomforts you feel before you sit down in the dentist’s chair.
Swish Some Salt Water
Perhaps your mom used to have you gargle with warm salt water as a kid to help heal a sore throat, or you’ve used a saltwater solution to help clogged sinuses. Good, old-fashioned salt water rinses are also a proven way to help reduce bacteria in the mouth, clear food debris, and reduce inflammation! To make an at-home solution, add two teaspoons of salt to a glass of warm—not cold or hot—water, stir it in until it’s dissolved, and swish the solution around your mouth for thirty seconds or so. Take care not to swallow the solution.
Call on Clove Oil
Clove oil is an antifungal and anti-inflammatory herbal remedy that has been used to help relieve tooth pain for generations. Add a few drops to a cotton ball, cotton swab, or piece of tissue, and place it at the site of your pain until the pain goes away. Some people may find undiluted clove oil too strong, so diluting the solution with a few drops of olive oil can help.
Switch Up Your Brushing Routine
There are many kinds of toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth and pain relief which can help calm cavity pain. Using a soft-bristled brush, gently brush over the cavity with a formulated toothpaste to help numb the exposed nerves. Using a medium- or hard-bristled brush can not only irritate the cavity itself but may wear down your enamel, leaving you more likely to develop more cavities in the future!
Grab Some Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen
Over-the-counter pain relievers can work wonders in helping to reduce the irritation felt by small injuries or pains. Taking a low dose of a pain reliever such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen can help you deal with the symptoms of a toothache until you’re ready to see your dentist. However, as with any medication, it’s always good to check with your doctor before starting anything new.
Keeping up a structured regimen of twice-daily brushing and regular flossing is your best defense against developing cavities again in the first place! However, if you’re suffering from cavity pain, try to get to the dentist as soon as possible, as a filling is the only way to fix a cavity once it has formed.
To schedule your next appointment or filling, give us a call at Steger Smiles today!