Not Medical Advice: Treatment for a toothache depends on the cause. If a cavity is triggering the toothache, your dentist will fill the cavity or perhaps extract the tooth, if necessary. A root canal may be needed if the cause of the toothache is determined to be an infection of the tooth's nerve.
Bacteria that have worked their way into the innermost aspects of the tooth cause such an infection. An antibiotic might be given if there is fever or swelling of the jaw. Phototherapy with a cold laser might be used to lessen the pain and inflammation associated with the toothache.
A toothache is a pain in or around a tooth that might be caused by:
- Tooth decay
- Abscessed tooth
- Tooth fracture
- A damaged filling
- Repetitive motions, such as grinding teeth or chewing gum
- Infected gums
See your dentist as soon as possible concerning your toothache if:
- You have a toothache that lasts longer than 1 or 2 days
- Your toothache is serious
- You have an earache, fever, or pain upon opening your mouth wide
Proper treatment and identification of dental infections is significant to prevent its spread to other parts of the face and skull and possibly even to the bloodstream. Since most toothaches are the outcome of tooth decay, following good oral hygiene practices can prevent toothaches.
Good oral hygiene habits consist of flossing once daily, brushing regularly with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, and seeing your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning. In addition to these habits, eat foods low in sugar and ask your dentist about fluoride and sealants applications.
Home remedies for a toothache infection include the following:
- Apply a cold compress; the cold temperature can help ease the pain
- Clean the mouth thoroughly
- Use a sea salt rinse: you can make a rinse with a spoonful of sea salt and warm water
- Apply clove oil to ease the pain of a toothache
- Try hard liquor such as vodka or whisky and apply it to the affected tooth
- Clean affected teeth with hydrogen peroxide
- Apply apple cider vinegar
- Apply fruits and vegetables such as peppermint tea, almond extract, vanilla extract, lemon extract, tea tree oil, oil of oregano, garlic, cucumber, ginger root, plantain and onion
- Apply a clove of garlic with a little of rock salt to the affected teeth
- Cut off a piece of potato and put it on the sore tooth for around 15 minutes.
- Chew leaves of the guava tree
- Rinse the mouth with a tincture of myrrh
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If you are unable to seek immediate dental care due to traveling or other reasons, the American Academy of General Dentistry offers these tips to help reduce toothache pain temporarily until a dentist can be seen. Check out these tips at About.com.