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General Dentist Tips for Tooth Pain


What is a Toothache?

Toothache is a pain felt in or around a tooth. A toothache is a sign that something is wrong with either the tooth or the gums. 

A toothache should never be ignored and understanding some helpful tips from a general dentist can aid the patients to know what to do if they ever happen to experience a toothache.

Often the result of a tooth being damaged by decay or injury, a toothache can also be an indication of an infection.


Common Causes of Toothaches

The most common reason for toothaches is tooth decay. Other causes include fractured teeth, damaged filling, an abscessed tooth and gum disease.

Sometimes getting an appointment and seeing the dentist immediately is not possible and alternative methods to relieve pain are sought by the patient. 

Dr. Sheena Gaur an experienced general dentist at Kirkland Premier Dentistry shares tips to help relieve any discomfort or to manage their toothache before seeing a dentist:


  1. Painkillers: Medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help to provide some relief from toothaches. These medications should be swallowed as recommended by their manufacturers but overconsuming them has to be avoided as this can lead to side effects. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be alternated every three hours or so to manage the pain till you get to a dentist.


  1. Saltwater Rinse: A natural antibacterial agent, salt helps protect teeth from infections. The pain caused by a toothache can also be managed by rinsing out the mouth with a saltwater solution.

    A natural way for someone to minimize toothache pain, swishing salt water around in the mouth for at least 30 seconds helps to loosen food particles & food residue stuck in the tooth, helping to reduce pain and inflammation. 


  1. Garlic Paste: Garlic has compounds that can curb the growth of oral bacteria, providing relief for those dealing with toothaches. Mash garlic into a paste and apply directly to the affected tooth.


  1. Peppermint/Clove oil: Both Peppermint and clove oil have antibacterial properties and contain compounds that work as natural anesthetics.

    Providing a numbing effect, they serve as one of the most effective home remedies for toothaches.

    However, these oils are very strong so getting them on soft tissues should be avoided, as they can damage them.

    They can also improve the overall health of one’s mouth and minimize any associated pain. Apply them directly to the painful area using a cotton swab or a cotton ball. 


  1. Cold compress: A cold compress when applied to the area can help to reduce inflammation, in turn helping to reduce the amount of pain one feels when experiencing a toothache.

    Helping to constrict blood vessels in the area, cold compresses allow to reduce one’s toothache pain, as well as reduce any swelling or inflammation, in or around the toothache area.

    Place the pack in a cloth so the ice is not quickly touching the skin. It can be used to treat the area for 20 minutes at a time, applying the 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off method.


  1. See a dentist: All the above measures can just provide temporary relief from a toothache.

    The only permanent solution to the toothache is by having its root cause treated by a dentist.

    For example, a toothache caused by an infection can only be cured when a dentist performs a root canal or an extraction.

    Dentists can properly diagnose the root cause of the pain, using their training and skills to recommend an appropriate cause of action.


Role of a General Dentist

A general dentist can treat any type of toothache. As minor as a toothache might be, it cannot be treated until the underlying cause has been addressed. 

Examination of the affected teeth by the dentist is essential to determine the cause. Once the cause is understood by the dentist, treatments can be performed to bring the patient relief.

One thing that needs to be understood is that a general dentist is not only significant when in need of dental services, but regular checkup appointments with a general dentist to ensure good oral health are equally important too.

Regular checkup appointments with a dentist ensure routine exams and on-time cleanings.

Not just a great resource to utilize when one is looking for ways to fix any type of pain in the oral cavity, General Dentists can also be helpful to know the root cause of the toothache. 


Bottom Line

If you are suffering from any level of toothache pain, it is essential to consult with a general dentist who can carefully evaluate the pain and determine what course of action is necessary.

But there are a few tips that can help relieve the pain till you get to a dentist. 

However, all these methods can only provide temporary relief, till the root cause is diagnosed and treated by the dentist.

If you are suffering from any kind of toothache, call for an appointment today at Kirkland Premier Dentistry. 

If you are suffering from severe tooth pain then you can also contact us for emergency dentistry services.

Dr. Sheena Gaur Dr. Sheena Gaur Dr. Sheena Gaur, DDS, is a general family dentist at Kirkland Premier Dentistry in Kirkland, Washington. She specializes in preventive and restorative dentistry, crowns, bridges, extractions, and cosmetic dentistry, including veneers and Invisalign® treatments.

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