Whether you’ve just recently had your wisdom teeth taken out, or you’re experiencing a common toothache, oral pain can be one of the most difficult pains to deal with. Talking, eating, or simply sitting there can drastically exacerbate your symptoms.
If you have an upcoming procedure that may cause oral pain, or are in pain currently, here are four tips to deal with it until you have time to see a dentist for a checkup and restorative procedures like a filling or crown as necessary.
Salt Water Rinse
Rinsing your mouth with salt water is an effective first-line pain treatment for many patients. Not only is salt water a disinfectant, it can loosen food particles and debris caught in your teeth. And it can also bring down inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to perceived infection or injury to a certain part of the body. By causing tissue to inflame, it forms a wall between bacteria and the blood stream. Unfortunately, it also inhibits stem cells and other healing properties from reaching the injured area, causing more pain. So, moderating the body’s inflammatory response can reduce pain and speed healing.
To use this treatment, mix together about 1 teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water, and use the solution as mouthwash.
Cold compresses can be incredibly effective at relieving oral pain, especially if the pain is caused by tooth trauma. When you apply a cold compress, much like saltwater, it causes inflammation to go down. It also numbs local nerves to reduce pain. Simply apply a frozen bag of vegetables or ice cubes wrapped in a washcloth to the affected area until the swelling goes down. Apply for no more than 20 minutes at a stretch.
Clove has been used to treat toothaches for hundreds of years. Not only does the oil temporary numb an area of skin, providing relief, but it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Eugenol, which is found in clove oil, can bring down swelling and even function as a natural antiseptic. To properly use clove oil, dab a small amount onto a cotton ball or q tip and apply it to the affected area. The best part is that this can be done multiple times a day.
Ibpuprofen or Acetaminophen
According to a recent study conducted by Case Western Reserve University, over the counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be more effective than opioids at treating dental pain. Examining the results of nearly 460 patients, it was found that many prescription painkillers don’t last as long because they don’t contain an anti-inflammatory properties like Ibuprofen.With recent statistics on opioid addiction, this study suggests that less habit forming drugs can be more effective with less side-effects.
If you’ve been having an inordinate amount of dental pain, it may be time to schedule an appointment. A check up allows your dentist the opportunity to spot problems and provide treatment before an oral complication can get out of hand. We can even help you identify tooth pain that isn’t caused by the tooth, but might be related to TMJ or other bite problems.