What to Do When You Have a Toothache but Can't See the Dentist for a Day or Two

When you develop a toothache, you most certainly need to see a dentist, since a toothache frequently indicates that you have a dental abscess that could compromise the health of your tooth or cause infection to spread into other tissues. But what if you can't get in to see your dentist for a day or two after you develop a toothache? Here are some ways to calm the pain in the meantime and a look at signs that indicate you need to seek emergency treatment at a 24-hour dental clinic.

Keeping the Pain at Bay

In most cases, as long as you can keep the pain under control, it's okay to wait a couple of days to see the dentist. Use these strategies to stay comfortable.

Over-the-counter pain relievers: Opt for NSAID-type pain relievers, like ibuprofen or naproxen. These medications will alleviate inflammation and pain, which is helpful since much of the pain of a toothache is derived from the pressure swollen tissues place on your nerves. Make sure you take these medications as recommended on the bottle.

Rinse with salt water: Salt water will help draw moisture out of your gum tissues, reducing inflammation. Salt water also fights bacteria, so it can help prevent the abscess and toothache from becoming worse. Just add a spoonful of salt to a cup of warm water and swish the solution around in your mouth.

Apply frozen veggies: Ice packs are rigidly shaped and hard to hold against your cheek, but packages of frozen veggies are easy to mold to the shape of your face. Place a thin towel between your cheek and the veggies to prevent frostbite and hold the veggies against the sore area to ease your pain.

Apply clove oil: Clove essential oil has natural numbing qualities and is therefore excellent for soothing toothaches. Apply a drop to your tooth. The oil will taste strange, but it will make you more comfortable.

When to Seek Emergency Care

The danger posed by a dental abscess is that the infection can spread into other tissues. If you experience any of these symptoms, there's a chance that the infection has spread, and you should seek immediate care either at the emergency room or through a 24-hour dentist.

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Confusion and dizziness
  • Rapid pulse
  • Excessive heat and swelling in your jaw

Waiting to see the dentist for a toothache is not pleasant, but in most cases, you should be able to keep the pain at least manageable for a day or two while you wait for your dentist to be available.

For more information, consult a professional like Larchmont Dental Arts LLC