How to Stop a Toothache

tooth decay

The most common cause of a toothache is a dental cavity as a result of tooth decay.

What Causes Tooth Pain?

Tooth Pain can range from dull throbbing ache to such severe discomfort that it makes it impossible to think about anything else.

If there is a bright side to having a toothache, it’s that you are getting a message that something is wrong and needs be be fixed.

Some common causes of tooth pain are:

  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth injury
  • Infection around the tooth and gums
  • Tooth pulp or tissue damage
  • Grinding teeth
  • Sinus headache

All of the causes of tooth pain can quickly develop into serious health issues and should be treated as soon as possible.

How to Stop a ToothacheHow to Stop a Toothache

The best thing to do when you have a toothache is to see your dentist as quickly as possible.

Here are some things you can try to ease the pain until your dental appointment:

  • Pain Medication – Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen. Avoid taking aspirin in a dental emergency, especially if there is bleeding in the mouth.
  • Clean the Area – Clean around the tooth with floss and gently brush and rinse with antiseptic mouthwash.
  • Emergency Dental Kit – If you know that the pain is caused because of a filling that has fallen out, you can get an “Emergency Dental Kit” at your local pharmacy and follow the directions on the package. The eugenol and clove oil in the kit can ease the pain.
  • Salt Rinse – Rinse the area with a spoonful of sea salt in a glass of warm water.
  • Cold Compress – To numb the area, and reduce swelling, by put some ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrap the bag in a thin cloth and press it on the cheek or jaw (not inside the mouth) for about 5 – 10 minutes at a time.
  • Warm Compress – Warm a tea bag in hot water. Place it right on the affected area when it is a comfortably warm temperature.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Dip cotton swab in hydrogen peroxide and apply to affected area. Discard the cotton swab and use a clean one each time you apply the peroxide, to avoid re-infecting the area.

In Case of Emergency: Call Dr. Stone


If your tooth has been knocked out or loosened after an accident or injury, here are some things you can do until you see Dr. Stone:

  • Loose Tooth – try to hold the tooth in place by gently pressing it into position with your tongue. Keep in hydrated with your saliva.
  • Tooth that has been knocked out – rinse the tooth in cool water and tuck it into your cheek so that your saliva keeps the tooth hydrated. You can also place the tooth in a cup of milk to keep it hydrated until you get to the office.

Go to an Emergency Room if you experience:

  • Difficulty breathing, chewing or swallowing
  • Chest pain or irregular heartbeat
  • Increased or decrease in blood pressure

A hospital emergency room can prescribe medication for pain, but ER physicians do not have the knowledge or tools to deal with dental emergencies.

Dr. Stone is an Emergency Dentist. He and his staff are excellent at scheduling Emergency Visits.

For Emergency Dental Care, please don’t hesitate to call Dr. Stone at (954) 568-9100.

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