Few things are more uncomfortable than tooth pain. You feel like you cannot eat, the pain may be so great that you cannot think, and life with tooth pain can be miserable. To add to your tooth pain misery, you call the dentist and find out that you cannot be seen for days or even weeks! What are you going to do now?!

Luckily there are ways to ease tooth pain at home while you wait to be seen by your dentist. Below is a list of products and methods that you can use to find temporary relief from your aching tooth.

Tooth desensitizers – Most pharmacies will sell over the counter tooth desensitizers. With most products all that you need to do is apply the product to the sensitive area. Within minutes you should be able to notice a difference in how much sensitivity you feel. Tooth desensitizers temporarily cover any sensitive areas of the tooth much like a filling or bonding material. Some desensitizers can last for weeks with only one application. Other brands will require more frequent use.

Pain relievers – Pain reducers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are good choices. Remember to follow the labeling instructions and to only take the recommended dosage. Usually you are able to take 1-2 pills (depending on the strength) every 4-6 hours.

Ice to numb – Putting ice on the outside of your face that covers the area of pain can numb the sensation. Make sure that you wipe the icepack with a towel to avoid frostbite and hold the pack in place for 15 minutes at a time and three to four times a day. Reducing the swelling reduces the rush of blood trying to heal the area.

Keep it clean – Sometimes tooth sensitivity is not as big of a problem as you may think. When food becomes lodged in-between teeth it can irritate the gum line and cause discomfort. Sometimes all you need to do to relieve that pain is to give your mouth a thorough cleaning. Make sure that you brush and floss well so that no foreign food particles are permitted to continue irritating your mouth. If this is your situation, loosening and disposing of the irritant may be all you need to do to relieve your discomfort.

Take a swig – Alcohol has many medicinal uses. If you have a tooth ache consider pooling whiskey over the affected area. The gums will absorb the alcohol and numb the area. After a minute or so of pooling the alcohol over the area, you may spit out the excess.

Leave it alone - Chew on the side of your mouth that doesn’t hurt. I may seem elementary but giving your painful teeth a break may be all that they need to heal themselves. Doing so will allow you to still eat and function like normal. Also, you can avoid further injury to your already weakened tooth by just leaving it alone.

Watch out for temperature extremes – If you have ever had a sensitive tooth you know how painful a cold drink or a hot cup of cider can be. If you have tooth pain you probably also have some degree of tooth sensitivity. Avoiding temperature extremes in the foods that you eat will help to eliminate the painful reactions you may be having.

Dr. Dennis Simmons, DDS, is a leader in Apple Valley cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Simmons is highly experienced in Smile Makeovers, Dental Implants and Sedation Dentistry. To get more information on how Dr. Simmons can give you a brilliant smile visit the Twin Cities Dental Center or call (952) 891-8484.

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