Nothing can ruin your day faster than unexpected pain, and tooth pain almost universally ranks as one of the most unpleasant of wrenches that can be thrown into your day. Of course, if you wake up with a toothache during the week, you can always call your dentist to make a quick appointment to take care of the issue, but the holiday season is officially upon us, and your dentist, like most places, will have different holiday hours. So what do you do if you wake up with a toothache and your dentist isn’t available?
There are several things that can cause a sudden toothache: a particle of food caught between your teeth or lodged within a small cavity or a tooth infection. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position during the holidays, if you can take painkillers like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen—please check with your doctor if you aren’t sure—take some immediately. When the inner pulp of a tooth becomes infected it swells, and unlike any other part of the body that suffers from an infection, there’s no room for movement inside a tooth, and both Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are anti-inflammatories that will help take the pain and swelling down.
If you are unable to take painkillers for medical reasons, head over to your pantry. A warm salt rinse several times a day will help reduce the inflammation that is causing pain. Another excellent home remedy, and a rather holiday appropriate one too, is clove oil, as it is a natural irritant reducer. You can find clove oil at most pharmacies and some natural food stores, and can use a cotton swab to apply some to the area causing you pain. A whole clove from your spice cabinet will do just as well however if you don’t have any of the oil on hand. Place one in your mouth over the infected tooth and the natural oils in the clove will go to work on the pain. If all else fails, a warm shower to help relax you and an ice pack to help reduce the swelling will also provide some relief.
No one wants to be saddled with a toothache during the holiday season. So make sure that you are caught up with your check-ups and cleanings, and that you are following the recommended daily tooth care regimen: brush twice a day, every day, and floss once a day. Doing these things will greatly reduce your chances of waking up unexpectedly with a problem that you have no immediate way to handle. If you have more questions about how to handle a toothache when your dentist isn’t available to help, call Dr. Bruce Silva today, or visit him online to set up a pre-holiday appointment.