You’re escaping the office on a Friday afternoon, plans have been made, shoes are kicked off and computers shutdown. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned, right? Just as you are wrapping up a Friday night on the town, you can’t help but obsess over that last bite of marinated steak kabob wedged between your back molars. You excuse yourself to the bathroom and as you wiggle that pesky bite out, an all too familiar feeling surfaces. Minutes later, your mouth hurts, the toothache pain is in full effect and you realize that puppy isn’t coming out without a fight. Of all days.
Tooth pain and other inconveniences seem to always happen at the wrong time. In this cases, when most dentists are closed. Before you fuss over your pained tooth for hours, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible and use these methods to help ease the pain in the meantime.
Salt & Pepper Paste
Wedged food items aren’t the only cause for tooth pain. Perhaps you lost one of your older fillings, a tooth has cracked or a nerve has been left exposed.
For quick relief, mix equal parts salt and pepper with water to create a paste. This concoction should be applied directly to the tooth or teeth experiencing pain. Another natural method is to place a clove of garlic or even a piece of your favorite sugar free gum directly on the tooth. This temporarily helps protect the damaged tooth from being touched until it can be further examined by a professional dentist.
If pain subsides slightly, don’t cancel your appointment. Oral pain, even in the slightest bit, can be something larger in the making and should always be evaluated by a dentist.
Over the Counter Meds
Pair one of the makeshift “tooth caps” above with an over the counter painkiller. Anything including ibuprofen, acetaminophen or tylenol are great temporary choices to help ease the pain you’re experiencing. Avoid placing any sort of painkiller directly to the affected area or gum in pain; doing so might cause further damage to the gum tissue or cause even more irritation.
Consult a doctor if you’re unsure about pain medication options that are available to you. Pregnant patients should avoid all painkillers that are not tylenol.
Gargle Hydrogen Peroxide
Swish some warm salt water or hydrogen peroxide to help clear out any bacteria that could be causing additional oral pain to the damaged area. Hydrogen peroxide isn’t going to be as easy to swish around as salt water, but it’s still a very effective method to clear out unwanted strangers! Do not swallow either of these products once done gargling.
To make salt water, heat one to two cups of tap water in a small saucepan over the stove for up to 3 minutes. You can also put the same amount of water in a microwave safe mug in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in 1 tablespoon of salt to the warm water. Once the water is cool enough for your mouth to handle, throw it back and swish for 30 seconds (just like you would with mouthwash). This will do the job mouthwash would normally take care of for you, without the extra burn.
Ice, Ice, Baby
This method is best for patients who are experiencing inflammation on the outside of the affected cheek. This will reduce inflammation slightly and create a numbing effect temporarily. If you’d like, you can gently massage the numbed cheek externally to help ease some of the pain.
These methods are all to help you bridge the gap between the time your tooth or gum pain began until you can visit a dentist. It’s vital for toothaches of any kind to be addressed by a dentist as soon as you start noticing signs. If your accident or random tooth pain happens during a weekend or later in the day outside of regular office hours, visit an emergency dentist so you can be assisted promptly.
Emergency Dental of Milwaukee office hours are Monday through Sunday, 9am-9pm. Contact us for more information on setting up your emergency dental appointment or visit our pricing page to weigh your easy payment options.
Dr. Roberto Monteagudo is an expert in advanced dentistry, full mouth reconstruction, neuromuscular dentistry and sedation dentistry. He attended the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies from 1999 to 2006 and graduated from Marquette University, School of Dentistry in 1990. Dr. Monteagudo speaks frequently throughout the Wisconsin area on advancements in dentistry and patient education. Dr. Roberto Monteagudo lives in Milwaukee with his lovely wife, Gina, and their seven children whom they make a top priority. He also enjoys outdoor activities and is deeply committed to giving back to his community through charitable events. His warmth and caring combined with his commitment to patient comfort through sedation dentistry, leading edge, gentle, and non-invasive technologies is the reason that his patients travel long distances to see him.