How do I treat a toothache?


For toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between your teeth. Do not put aspirin on your aching tooth or gums; it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, contact your dentist.

Aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and similar over-the-counter pain relievers can provide temporary relief when taken as directed.

There is an underlying cause for a toothache, such as decay, gum disease, clenching, grinding, or damaged tooth enamel. All issues that will not go away without treatment and likely will worsen if ignored. Dental problems get more expensive and painful to treat with time. It's best to see Dr. Tomlinson as soon as possible.


Salt Water Rinse for a Toothache

A salt water rinse can be a helpful treatment. Salt water is a natural disinfectant. Treating a toothache with salt water can help reduce inflammation, diminish bacteria in the affected area and accelerate the healing of sores.

You can make the salt water rinse by mixing 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) of salt into a glass of warm water. Then use the mixture like mouthwash. Do not swallow the salt water. You can repeat the rinse three or four times per day.

If you're unsure if a dental problem is an emergency, we offer this advice: If it hurts, it's an emergency and you should call Dr. Tomlinson.