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A toothache should not be overlooked, but what can you do if it’s 2:00 in the morning and you can’t get right to a dentist?

Take two aspirin or acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Ibufrofen (Advil) may be the best choice since it relieves inflamation as well. However, do not place an aspirin next to a tooth. You may have heard of this “remedy”, but it actually does more harm than good. Placing an aspirin directly on your gum causes an ulceration of the tissue, commonly referred to as an aspirin burn.

Here are some home remedies that might help:

  • Apply oil of cloves. Follow the directions for use carefully and be sure to put it only on the tooth and not on the gum.
  • Cool the swelling: Place a cold compress on the outside of your cheek if there is swelling from your toothache. You can also try holding an ice cube or cold water in your mouth if your teeth are not sensitive to cold.
  • Elevating your head can decrease the pressure in the area and lessen the throbbing.
  • Rinsing with warm water can remove food debris which could be aggravating the area. Stir in one teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water, swish it around and then spit it out. You can also try flossing away food debris.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything hot, cold or sweet because it might make matter worse if you have sensitivity.
  • If the tooth feels sensitive to air, place a piece of gauze or even a bit of chewed sugarless chewing gum to plug up the area until you can get to the dentist.

The best cure for a toothache is a trip to your dentist to find out what’s causing the pain. Even if the pain goes away it does not mean the problem is gone, so don’t ignore it.

Dr. David M. Greene, DMD

As the founder and Executive Director of Scarsdale Dental Spa, Dr. David M. Greene, DMD oversees all clinical services. His high level of skill and understanding nature has allowed him to provide patients with the best in dental care for over 30 years.