Even if you’ve selected a dentist with early morning, evening and weekend hours, dental emergencies can, and do, happen during off-hours. It happens. If you’ve ever dealt with the pain that goes with one of those dental emergencies, a toothache, you know that you want relief, and you want relief NOW. You know what we’re talking about; a tooth that throbs, hurts or just aches, for no apparent reason. So what can you do about that toothache until you can get to a professional?
Don’t worry about the cause.
Throbbing or painful toothaches can occur for a variety of reasons, and only your dentist can diagnose the problem. Treat your toothache the same way, no matter what the reason for the pain. If your problem is bigger than just a single toothache (such as pain radiating through your jaw), be concerned and visit a doctor if necessary.
Use cold, not heat.
Hold an ice pack to your cheek on the same side as the toothache. Do not use heat to treat your toothache—even if it makes it feel better!—as it can cause swelling and make the underlying cause of your toothache worse.
Avoid foods that can make the pain worse.
The hard part is that different kinds of food can make it worse: sweet, hot or cold foods. Just to state the obvious: also avoid anything that can make the pain worse, such as laying on the side that hurts or any kind of vibration.
Visit your local pharmacy.
Use over-the-counter medications to treat your toothache, but do so carefully. Only use medications that don’t interfere with any prescription medications you are on, and make sure you use them exactly as directed on the label.
Schedule a dental appointment ASAP.
Schedule an appointment with your local dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can diagnose the problem, and make recommendations that get you on the way to recovery—and to rid you of the pain that accompanies that terrible toothache.