A toothache is a sure sign that something is wrong. But but not all tooth nerve pain is the same, and not all cases will require the same treatment. Toothache remedies will differ depending on the cause of the pain, as well as the severity of damage to your tooth.
Home Treatment for Tooth Pain
It’s not a good idea to leave a broken tooth without professional treatment for too long. If your tooth is cracked, broken or there’s a cavity, you should book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
However, there are some toothaches that you can successfully treat at home without seeing a dentist:
- Tooth sensitivity: Tooth sensitivity can occur when the outer layer of your teeth (called the enamel) has worn away over time. With this problem, most of your teeth are likely to be affected, and certain food like ice-cream or candy can trigger the pain. You can treat this at home by avoiding tooth sensitivity and using a special toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Don’t use painkillers like acetaminophen or aspirin for tooth sensitivity, as the tooth sensitivity is a problem you’ll experience long-term, and taking painkillers for an extended amount of time without consulting your doctor can be dangerous. If your sensitivity doesn’t respond to home treatment, it’s best to book an appointment with your dentist.
- Gum disease: Gum disease can be very uncomfortable and in some cases it might even feel as bad as a toothache. It may be possible to treat gum disease at home by simply visiting your nearest pharmacy. Your pharmacist may be able to recommend a mouthwash that can clear the infection.
- Trapped debris: Debris trapped between the gum and tooth can lead to pain occasionally. This often happens with something like popcorn, for instance. This problem can be treated at home by using a tooth pick and floss to get rid of the trapped debris.
Toothaches that can be treated at home are problems that can also be improved by practicing good oral hygiene. Avoiding foods that erode your tooth enamel, regular brushing and flossing should help to prevent some of the causes of tooth pain mentioned above.
Exposed Tooth Root Treatment
Whether it’s because your tooth is broken, or if it’s because of decay, an exposed tooth root is likely to cause severe tooth pain. In these cases, you should book an appointment with your dentist to have it fixed.
Don’t try to treat the problem at home. This can lead to further complications, like an infection developing, which can cause an abscess. Getting professional treatment for an exposed tooth root usually helps to prevent the problem from worsening and causing more problems. The sooner you get treatment for a damaged tooth, the easier dental treatment will be.
If you have to wait a day or two before your dentist can see you, there are a few ways you can help relieve the pain at home:
- Over-the-counter relief: Ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen are all effective ways to temporarily relieve your tooth nerve pain.
- Hot or cold packs: You can apply a warm microwave bag, or a cold ice pack to your cheek in the area where you sore tooth is. Feel free to alternate between the warm and hot temperatures depending on what feels more comfortable at the time.
- Sugarless gum: Closing the exposed tooth nerve by placing a piece of sugarless gum over it can help you avoid pain from things directly hitting the nerve. This will also prevent food debris from getting into your damaged tooth and causing an infection.
When Is Tooth Pain a Dental Emergency?
Your tooth nerve pain is a dental emergency if you can’t do anything because of the severity of your pain. In many cases, patients experience tooth pain that’s so severe they can’t sleep at night.
Dental abscesses are often the worst, but a tooth that broke in an accident can be equally bad. Especially if your tooth has cracked, early treatment can prevent the crack from spreading, which, in turn, can prevent loss of the tooth.
Another common dental emergency is when a tooth is knocked out. In these cases, you should get dental help immediately. While traveling to your dentist, if possible, keep the tooth that got knocked out in your mouth to prevent it from drying out. Just be extremely careful not to swallow it. If you can’t find an emergency dentist to help right away, your doctor should be able to help you put the tooth back into place.