Dealing with a toothache without a dentist

Dental emergencies and aching teeth can be stressful, especially because the average person knows very little about dental care outside their oral hygiene routine. While many get lost in the specialised terminology of dentists- periodontics, endodontic therapy, neuromuscular orthodontics and so on– most know the nuts and bolts of how to keep a healthy smile.
What most people don’t know is the steps to take in the event of a moderate to severe toothache when a dentist is not available. At Excellence in Dentistry we want to provide some useful tips to help you manage a toothache if you find yourself in a circumstance where you cannot see one of our dental professionals immediately.
Things to avoid when you have a serious toothache
It is important if you are experiencing a moderate to severe toothache that you avoid:

  • Hot or cold drinks and food items
  • Food or liquids that are high in sugar or those that are very acidic


Steps to take to help alleviate some of the discomfort and protect your teeth

While experiencing a toothache you should gently floss around the teeth that are sore, ensuring that there is no food remnants trapped between the teeth. It is also advisable to rinse with luke-warm salty water as this can help to prevent further infection and curb the existing build-up of bacteria.

Where possible in the event of a serious toothache, we advise to sleep with your head elevated or rest while in a seating position.

Pain control


If you are experiencing a mild to severe toothache you can use over-the-counter pain relief medication to help relieve some of the discomfort. When taking these medicines you should:

  • Never exceed the advisable dose
  • Ensure that these medications will not interfere with any other medication that you are taking

It is best to select a pain relief medication that is anti-inflammatory, such as Ibuprofen, if you are experiencing dental pain. This is because a common cause of toothaches is inflammation with the tissue or nerve, which can be directly addressed by an anti-inflammatory. Your chemist may also have a number of other numbing gels and creams which can be applied to soothe the ache.
Some chemists also have a temporary filling material that can seal any visible holes that you can identify. This can stop bacteria from further entering the hole and damaging the nerve, as well as soothe some of the discomfort.

Did you know…?

From around 5 000 BC through to the 18th century many people believed that a toothache was caused by a worm moving around in the tooth. This belief was common in many areas, including Japan, India, Egypt and China. Throughout history there have been many different beliefs about what would eliminate a toothache, including:

  • Chewing on tobacco
  • Kissing a donkey
  • Spitting into a frogs mouth at midnight


However there is no need to worry, the modern dentist wouldn’t advise these tricks to cure a toothache!

If you are experiencing a moderate to serve toothache, please contact our dental professionals as soon as possible. While you can take the above steps to help manage a toothache at home, it is important to have your tooth seen to by a dental professional as soon as possible.

This can help to prevent any further damage, curb the discomfort and may help you retain your natural tooth in the event of extensive damage to tooth.

Read More: You can’t Handle The Tooth

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