How to Relieve a Toothache at Home

September 1, 2020 Kalamazoo Smiles

toothache dentist kalamazoo mi

Home remedies only provide temporary relief and won’t treat the source of your dental pain. That’s why it’s important that you seek urgent dental care as soon as possible. During your appointment, our dentist in Kalamazoo, MI, will examine the inside of your mouth and take X-rays so she can diagnose the problem and treat it before it worsens.

If you have a mild toothache, you may need to wait a few days until we have an opening in our schedule. But we always see patients in severe pain immediately.

Here’s what you can do to manage dental pain and discomfort in the meantime.

Floss Your Teeth

It’s not uncommon for small pieces of food to get caught in between teeth. When this happens, the food may exert pressure on your teeth and irritate your gums. If the pain still persists after flossing, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our office.

If you see something stuck between your teeth and you can’t dislodge it by flossing, you’ll need to give us a call. Do NOT use a knife or other tool to remove the object. Instead, wait until your appointment with us and Dr. Bandos will be able to safely remove the object using specialized dental tools.

Apply a Cold Compress

We understand that not all our patients have a cold compress in their freezer for the express purpose of numbing pain. But we’re willing to bet that you at least have a bag of frozen peas or something else that can be used as an ice pack. Just make sure that you wrap the frozen bag in a kitchen towel so the ice isn’t applied directly to the skin. Otherwise, you could end up damaging the tissue.

The coldness of the compress will help numb the pain and cause the blood vessels to constrict. With less blood circulation, you should experience a little less pain. Although, you should NEVER apply a cold compress for longer than 15 to 20 minutes or you’ll risk damaging the skin.

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

We may recommend that you take over-the-counter pain relievers until you’re able to see Dr. Bandos. But it’s important that you follow the instructions on the packaging so you’re taking the medication as intended. If you’re unsure what over-the-counter options to use, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. We’d be more than happy to help!

Elevate Your Head While You Sleep

We recommend elevating your head while you sleep, which will help prevent blood from pooling and allow any fluids to drain. Elevating your head will also help decrease pain and swelling, as well as improve circulation. There are a few options for relieving tooth pain, which include sleeping on several pillows or in a reclining chair.

Request an Appointment With Us

We understand that you may feel reluctant to schedule an appointment with us if you’re worried about the cost of emergency dental care. But the truth is that the longer you wait, the more you could end up paying in the long run.

For example, we can treat a small cavity with a filling. But you may need a root canal if the cavity grows big enough to infect the pulp inside your tooth. An emergency root canal is not only more expensive but more invasive than a simple filling.

Related: What is a Dental Emergency? →

Dr. Katherine Bandos is a dentist in Kalamazoo, MI, who is dedicated to helping patients maintain beautiful, healthy smiles for life. If you’re experiencing any dental pain or discomfort, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We’d be more than happy to get you scheduled for an appointment as soon as possible. To get started, call Kalamazoo Smiles at (269) 353-3700.

This blog post has been updated.

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