If you have a toothache, see your dentist before the problem becomes severe.
Once your dentist has identified and treated the problem (usually with a simple filling), the toothache will disappear. A dental abscess will require extraction of the tooth or a more complicated filling (root canal treatment ) if the tooth is to be saved.
Here’s immediate help for a toothache:
- Avoid hot, cold or sweet stimuli. This will help prevent pain from pulpitis.
- If the pain is prolonged and severe, painkillers such as ibuprofen (eg Nurofen) may provide some relief. Remember even if the pain goes away, without treatment it will eventually become worse.
- If the pain is caused by exposed root surfaces, toothpaste for sensitive teeth, either used normally or rubbed onto the exposed root, may be helpful.
- A hot saltwater mouthwash (a teaspoon of salt to a cup of water) used to thoroughly rinse the painful area may help if the problem is caused by a tooth erupting.
- A saltwater mouthwash can also prevent infection if you have mouth ulcers.
- Orajel has an immediate numbing effect, available at most drug stores. This can stall your toothache until you can get to a dentist.