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Toothache is one of the most common health problems, affecting people of all ages. It is often caused by tooth decay, gum disease, or injury to the teeth but is not usually a dental emergency. If you are suffering from a toothache, there are a few things you can try to provide relief. But, if you want to know how to get rid of toothache, you will need to see a dentist to determine the cause of your discomfort, as toothache rarely goes away of its own accord.

Remedies for toothache relief before you see a dentist

Toothache is not typically a dental emergency. However, if you are in severe pain or have other symptoms, including a swollen face, fever or difficulty swallowing, you should call an emergency dentist for further advice. In most cases, you can schedule a regular appointment to see a dentist who will identify the cause and what treatment you will need to get rid of your problem. In the meantime, the following can provide temporary toothache relief:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Saltwater rinse with warm water
  • Hydrogen peroxide rinse
  • Cold compress/ice applied to the face over the area where you have the pain
  • Clove oil applied directly to the tooth, or soak a cotton wool ball and apply

Visiting the dentist for toothache relief

get rid of toothache brightonThe dentist will need to go through your medical history, perform a physical examination and probably take x-rays to get a good picture of what’s happening. 

They will want to know exactly where the pain is, when it started, how severe it is and whether there is anything that provides relief or makes it worse.

The dentist will check inside your mouth and examine your teeth, tongue, gums, throat, jaws and possibly your nose and neck. 

Treatments to get rid of toothache

The dentist will determine how to get rid of your toothache once they have finished their examination and they have observed your x-rays. The treatment will depend on the cause of your toothache.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is a common cause of tooth pain and can lead to tooth loss if not treated. Treatment can include:

  • Fillings – Made from various materials, including silver amalgam, porcelain and composite, a filling is used to fill a cavity caused by tooth decay. The affected area is drilled out and filled with the chosen material to restore the function and appearance of the tooth.
  • Root canalsA root canal can provide significant toothache relief. A root canal is needed when an infection occurs in the soft pulp in the centre of a tooth. This houses the nerves and other soft tissues and can be very painful. All the soft tissue is removed during the procedure to get rid of the infected tissue. The pulp chamber and root canals are thoroughly cleaned, and the tooth is sealed to prevent re-infection. 

Dental Abscess

An infection can cause a dental abscess—a build-up of pus in the teeth or gums. A dental abscess will not go away without treatment from a dentist and can turn into a dental emergency if the infection travels elsewhere in the body.

An abscess may be caused by poor dental hygiene, smoking and even if you have a weakened immune system that cannot fight off germs. Treatments may include:

  • Draining the pus by making a small incision in the gum
  • Root canal
  • Tooth extraction – if the tooth cannot be saved, it may need to be removed to allow pus to drain from the socket
  • Antibiotics to clear the infection. However, it’s worth noting that antibiotics won’t tackle the underlying cause of the infection, so you will still require treatment, such as a root canal or filling, to fix the problem.

Cracked or Damaged Tooth

A cracked or damaged tooth—whether caused by decay or trauma—can also be a cause of toothache. A cracked tooth can be a painful emergency, depending on how extensive the damage is. There are a few different ways that a dentist can treat a cracked tooth, depending on the severity of the crack, and provide toothache relief. If the crack is small and does not extend into the root of the tooth, the dentist may simply smooth out the edges of the crack. 

  • Crown – If the crack is more serious, the dentist may need to place a crown on the tooth to protect it from further damage. 
  • Extraction – In some cases, a cracked tooth may need to be extracted. 

The Takeaway

Knowing how to get rid of toothache with some home remedies can provide you with pain relief until you can see a dentist. In most cases, you won’t need to see an emergency dentist unless you are in severe pain, but you should schedule an appointment sooner rather than later.

Do you have a toothache?

Don’t suffer in silence. Why not schedule an appointment with Bright-On Bay Dental. We can diagnose the cause of the toothache and provide the appropriate treatment and relief from pain.


Healthline: Root canals

Mayo Clinic: Tooth abscess

Colgate: Your dental crown procedure: what to expect