Tips for Alleviating Toothache Discomfort until Your Appointment

May 19, 2022

Toothaches can be total day ruiners. A trip to the dentist is one of the best ways to make sure that the cause of the toothache is properly addressed so that the problem can go away. But what if your appointment isn’t for a few days? Do you have to just suffer in the meantime? Thankfully, the answer is no. There are some things you can do to alleviate your discomfort.


Sometimes rinsing the mouth out can help alleviate some of the discomfort from a toothache. Make a saltwater rinse with ½ tsp of table salt and 1 c of warm water. Mix it around a bit to let the salt dissolve and then swish it around in the mouth before spitting it out. You could also try making a rinse with equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Rinse thoroughly before spitting it out. These methods should only be used for people who are old enough not to swallow the solutions.


Pain has a lot of us reaching for over-the-counter painkillers. It’s not a bad way to deal with the pain of a toothache, provided the medication is used as directed. Ibuprofen, the generic name for Advil and Motrin, can be a good choice for children. For adults, your preferred painkiller should do just fine, provided you use it as directed.


Cold can offer some pain relief as well. Apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek in 15 minute intervals if your face is swollen to help prevent further swelling. You could also try holding some ice water in your mouth for a few seconds at a time for more direct application of cold. Just make sure you don’t bite the ice, since that can aggravate whatever is wrong or even break your teeth. Another option is to hold an ice cube in the hand that is on the same side as the toothache and rub it in the space between your forefinger and thumb for 7 minutes or until it’s numb. The thought is that this helps stop the pain signals from reaching your brain.

Whether you’re the one suffering from the toothache or it’s one of your kids, knowing some of your options for alleviating the discomfort they cause can be a lifesaver. Make sure you get in touch with a dentist so the root cause of the toothache can be addressed. Dr. Paul Kahlon and Dr. Emily Pham can give you advice on what to do in the meantime while you’re waiting for the appointment.

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