Somehow even when we brush our teeth twice a day, we floss here and there and even if we avoid sugar as much as possible, dental pain can still occur. In case you can’t get to the dentist right away, here are some tips that may be able to relieve your discomfort before you are able to book an appointment. If you have any problems, it is always a good idea to see your dentist sooner rather than later.
You definitely need to see a dentist if you have pain that :
- Lasts more than 2 days
- Is not going away when you take painkillers
- And is accompanied by a fever, pain while chewing or swallowing or red/swollen gums
Know who to call
The first thing you need is to know who to call and where to go. The first thing to do would be to call your dentist. They can advise you on what to do or book you an emergency appointment. More often than not, a patient in pain will find that, he/she can be seen on the same day the phone call is made to the dental clinic or, in worse case scenario, the day after for an emergency appointment. If you do not have a dentist or cannot get an emergency appointment, NHS 111 should be your next point of call for further advice about how severe your symptoms are and what is necessary to treat them. They will also advise you on how to deal with your pain and give you further information on what services will be available to you and where you can go to get treatment.
Salt water rinse
Until you get to the dentist, one of the possible home remedies is to gargle your mouth with salt water. The salt helps to remove the bacteria from the mouth and it can also reduce swelling. A good mix would be to use ½ teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of water. Be careful to spit it out and not to swallow the water; it really doesn't taste nice. Sometimes having cold liquid in the mouth on its own might help, others it might flare the pain.
Over the counter medication such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can ease pain that is affecting you and relieve minor pain from toothache. Be careful to use these forms of painkillers how they are meant. They are only to be taken orally, not be to be applied directly to the gums as it can cause more harm to your gums.
Do not underestimate the power of a cold compress. If your face is swollen, it would be helpful if you could put an icepack on your cheek. It may help ease the pain and almost act as a numbing agent for a while, which will help reduce the pain you are feeling as well as the swelling.
Apply pain-relieving gels and liquids
You are able to get these pain relieving products from many pharmacies and supermarkets. Apply these gels and liquids directly to the sore tooth and nearby gums. A lot of these contain benzocaine, which will numb your mouth for a little while. Beware, these are meant for short-term use only. They will not treat the cause of your pain.
After you have gone through the discomfort of a toothache, the last thing you would want is to experience it again. The good news is that many toothaches are preventable, as long as you take care of your teeth and gums by flossing and brushing twice a day. Keeping up with your regular dental check ups will ensure the best health of your teeth and gums.