We’ve almost all had a toothache at some point. When we do, it’s not uncommon for people to leap out of the woodwork with their tried and true home toothache remedies. Some of these remedies work, but many also don’t. So if you’re looking for the best toothache remedies in San Diego that actually work, you’ve come to the right place.
It’s important to keep in mind there’s no good reason for a tooth to hurt. Or, to put it another way, there is always a reason a tooth hurts – it’s not something that “just happens”. Therefore if a tooth is in pain, it means there’s a problem with the tooth or surrounding structures.
Yes, you’ve probably ignored a toothache in the past and it just “fixed itself”. Some causes of toothaches are fairly minor and easily resolved. But ignoring a toothache is a great way to get yourself in a world of trouble. Especially if it turns out to be something more than an inflamed gum.
So what causes a toothache? What are the best toothache remedies available for you? And at what point do you head to a dentist?
Let’s take a look.
What Causes a Toothache?
A toothache indicates a problem. But the question is, which problem?
There are many reasons a tooth may hurt, ranging from the fairly benign and easily treated, to some serious complications that could require emergency treatment.
The reasons for a toothache can be both incredibly obvious, but also more subtle. Sometimes it’s a problem with the gums that causes the tooth to hurt, rather than a problem with the tooth itself. This can make it a bit harder for someone to work out for themselves why they’re in pain, so it’s always a good idea to check with a dentist.
Most Common Causes of Toothache
- Gingivitis (gum inflammation). This is the most common cause of a toothache, particularly one that seems to resolve on its own. Infection or irritation of the gum puts pressure on the tooth, causing pain and discomfort.
- Eruption. A new tooth erupting through the gum can be sore and sensitive. This can especially be the case with wisdom teeth, which often fail to erupt properly, becoming impacted.
- Tooth decay. As a tooth decays, the sensitive inner layers of the tooth beneath the enamel become exposed, causing pain.
- Worn down tooth. Constant chewing and grinding – particularly if you grind your teeth during the day or in your sleep – will wear down your teeth, causing pain.
- Dental restoration problems. Fillings can come loose or your crowns and veneers do not fit properly. If dental restorations are loose or ill-fitting, then they’ll cause pain as you use those teeth.
- Tooth abscess. An infection inside the tooth can cause quite considerable pain, as the soft inner tissues (the “pulp”) that surround the tooth nerve become inflamed and put pressure on the nerve.
- Fracture. A broken tooth is an obvious reason for pain and one which requires immediate attention.
How you treat a toothache will obviously depend on what is causing the toothache.
We can break down the remedies broadly into three categories – home remedies, medications, and dental treatments. Sometimes you’ll combine two or all three of these options together for the best results.
Here’s my list of the best toothache remedies in San Diego.
Best Toothache Remedy in San Diego 1: Home Remedies
Many people swear by the effectiveness of these home remedies. They do, but for the right conditions.
These remedies are ideal for the temporary relief of toothache. This may be to get you comfortable long enough for the issue to resolve itself or get you through to your dental appointment.
- Warm salt rinse. ½ teaspoon of water in an 8 oz glass of warm water. Saltwater is a good natural disinfectant, and rinsing your mouth will help dislodge debris amongst your teeth. This will also help reduce inflammation.
- Cold compress. If swelling in the gum is the cause of your toothache, you can relieve pain with a cold compress. Hold to the affected area for 20 minutes and repeat every few hours.
- Clove oil. Clove oil has natural antiseptic properties to numb pain and reduce inflammation. You can apply it directly or use it as a rinse – just add a few drops to a cup of water.
Best Toothache Remedy in San Diego 2: Toothache Medications
For stronger pain, you may want to use medication to help relieve your toothache temporarily. Aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are all effective medications for toothaches. For children under 16, avoid aspirin and use Tylenol instead.
Best Toothache Remedy in San Diego 3: Professional Toothache Treatments
Toothache remedies are great for the temporary relief of pain, but they don’t typically address the underlying issue. For that, some sort of dental treatment is usually necessary.
For toothache caused by gingivitis – inflammation of the gums – salt rinses, hydrogen peroxide, and brushing your teeth will help to get rid of the infection. This in turn will make the swelling go down, and relieve the pain.
For other causes of toothache, you’ll need to visit your dentist. They’ll give you a comprehensive examination that covers the following:
- Where the pain is located
- How long it’s been hurting
- How severe the pain is
- What makes the pain worse and what gives relief
- An examination of the mouth to check for infection or trauma in the tooth
- Restoring the tooth. If you have a decayed or damaged tooth, restoring the tooth will help to relieve the toothache. This can be anything from filling a cavity to a crown or veneer to fixing a chipped or cracked tooth. (Read more about the top myths about porcelain veneers.)
- Deep clean. Mouth rinses and brushing wouldn’t fix an advanced gum infection alone. You will still need deep cleaning. This removes infected tissue below the gum line around the roots of teeth. The dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection.
- Root canal treatment. A tooth that has an infection inside the pulp – the soft inner tissues of the tooth that surround the root – will need a root canal treatment. This involves removing that soft inner pulp and replacing it with a gummy substance to retain the tooth’s integrity. The tooth should stop hurting once your dentist removes the infected material.
- Tooth extraction. It’s entirely possible that you have a badly infected or damaged tooth to save. In this case, the dentist needs to extract the tooth. (If you are searching for options to replace extracted teeth, read our article about teeth replacement options.)
When Should I See a Dentist for Toothache?
This will depend on how bad the pain is.
Low to moderate pain: If mouth rinses, brushing, and flossing are doing nothing after a day or two, it’s best to see your dentist. If the pain starts to die down, you’ve likely treated the problem yourself. Keep at it until the pain subsides completely.
Severe pain: See your dentist immediately. Severe pain is a sign of a bad infection or damage to the tooth and a dentist should be seen as soon as possible. Dentists will usually treat severe toothache as an emergency and schedule you as a priority.
Never ignore a severe toothache. The problem will only get worse. In the case of an infection causing the pain, infections of the mouth can spread to the rest of the body and increase the risk of other health problems. Immediately see your dentist to treat the problem early while it’s still manageable.
Experiencing a severe toothache? Book a consultation now at Blyss Dental.
How to Prevent a Toothache
You may roll your eyes, but preventing a toothache is fairly simple: Brush and floss twice a day.
This is the number one most effective way of preventing the issues that cause toothache. Teeth that are cleaned properly on a regular basis with fluoridated toothpaste are protected from bacterial buildups that cause tooth decay and inflamed gums. This in turn prevents most causes of toothache.
If you play sports where your teeth may come into contact with fast-moving objects or people, a properly fitted mouthguard is essential.
On top of this, getting to your dentist twice a year for a routine check and clean is also essential to prevent toothaches. Plaque and tartar will build up on teeth over time even with diligent brushing and flossing. This in turn will lead to gingivitis and tooth decay.
A visit to your dentist allows them to remove the plaque and tartar buildup, protecting your teeth. They can also examine the teeth for any signs of wear and decay. You may be grinding your teeth at night without even knowing it, and this can eventually lead to painful toothache.
Between good personal oral hygiene, protecting your teeth if you play sports, and seeing your dentist regularly, you’ll be as protected as possible from any sort of toothache in the future.
What is the Best Toothache Remedy?
There are so many options to consider in identifying the best toothache remedies in San Diego. But it is fairly easy to answer.
The best toothache remedy is good oral hygiene and a trip to the dentist.
OK, but besides that?
For a mild toothache, a warm salt water rinse is usually enough to do the trick. But if your pain tolerance is low, throw in an over-the-counter painkiller for good measure.
For a severe toothache, there is simply no other remedy than getting to your dentist in San Diego and having your teeth professionally cared for. Since severe pain means a big problem, you want the experts to look after it.
Have a toothache and need help? Want to avoid a toothache? Book your checkup and cleaning now!