We’ve all had the problem of toothache but your dental office is closed for the night or it’s the weekend. You’re not able to get immediate treatment but you have pain and discomfort.
Dr. Sanam Wright offers advice if you are suffering from toothache or suspect you have gum disease.
- First, rinse your mouth out vigorously with warm water to dislodge anything caught between the teeth. Then use floss in the area to remove any remaining debris. If you feel like there is still something caught between the teeth, tie a knot in the floss and drag the knot in and out between the teeth after flossing the untied area into the gap.
- Do not eat on the affected side until symptoms resolve. You may then chew gently as soreness diminishes.
- Take aspirin, Tylenol, Motrin, Aleve, or Advil as directed on the bottle as you are able.
- The best relief is obtained with warm salt water soaks. Mix a teaspoon of table salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm tap water and hold a mouthful of salt water in the area of the tooth/gum for 30 seconds. Repeat this until the glass is finished. These soaks should be repeated every 2 to 4 hours as needed for discomfort. This helps to draw out fluid pressure from around the tooth/gum and helps mouth irritations heal faster.
- Sometimes warm or cold water will make the tooth feel better, use as needed like number 4 above.
- If there is swelling use an ice pack on the affected side 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off as needed. Ice cubes in a plastic bag with a towel around it works well.
- If pain and swelling are severe, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency medical center. Sometimes intravenous (I.V.) antibiotics are necessary.
Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can for dental treatment.