How to Treat a Toothache Without Tooth Extraction

happy patient looking at her teeth

There are many reasons your tooth might be hurting. Whether or not we recommend a tooth extraction will depend on why your tooth is in pain. Before recommending a tooth extraction, we will do everything in our power to try and restore your natural tooth to its full function without an extraction.

In order to know the course of treatment for your toothache, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our dentist. We will be able to assess the tooth, relieve your pain, and make a treatment plan to help save the tooth. The longer you wait to treat the hurting tooth, the more likely we might need to extract it. Most emergency toothache situations are due to a root canal infection, which are easily treated with root canal therapy.

Toothache Causes

Toothaches are characterized by either a sharp or dull pain in or around the tooth. In some patients, toothaches might only present themselves when pressure is applied to the tooth. Patients suffering from toothaches might also experience the following symptoms:

● Swelling around the tooth

● Fever or headache

● Foul taste in the mouth from the infected tooth

Most commonly, toothaches are caused by dental cavities due to enamel decay, an abscessed tooth, tooth chip or crack, grinding teeth, a failed dental filling, or gum disease. You should schedule an appointment with our dentist as soon as possible, if your toothache persists longer than a day, is accompanied with a fever or earache, or if it is causing severe pain.

To treat your toothache, we will first assess the tooth that is hurting, ask questions about your medical condition and your current condition, as well look at the rest of your mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, throat, sinuses, and so forth. Once we have a clear understanding on what is causing the toothache, we will recommend a course of treatment.

At-Home Toothache Remedies

For patients with a minor toothache, or those who cannot make it to the dentist immediately, like toothaches that hit in the middle of the night, there are a number of steps you can take at home to minimize pain. The following can provide temporary relief at home, until you can get to the dentist:

Cold compress. If your toothache is accompanied with swelling, hold an ice pack or frozen vegetables to the outside of your cheek on the side of the toothache. The cold will help numb the area, relieve swelling, and reduce inflammation. Cold compresses are a good way for temporary relief, so you can try and get some sleep. However, if you have a more advanced problem, like a root canal infection, the toothache will not get better, until you make it to the dentist.

Clove oil. Clove oil can temporarily reduce pain in toothaches. To apply clove oil, dip a cotton ball in the oil, allowing it to soak in a few drops, then gently rub the cotton ball over the sore tooth and gums. Clove oil uses a natural anesthetic, eugenol, which works to relieve pain. While clove oil can temporarily help with pain, it does not taste pleasant.

Rinse with salt water. Rinsing with salt water can help soothe swollen gums. Add a couple of teaspoons of salt to a warm cup of water, then gently swish the solution in your mouth and spit it out. Be careful to not let the water get too hot, which can make the pain worst.

Use an over the counter medication. To help with toothache pain, you can purchase over the counter pain medication, like Ibuprofen or Advil. Pain medication can keep you comfortable for a short time, until you can get to the dentist.

It’s important to remember that the above suggestions will provide temporary relief. For long-term treatment, you will need to see a dentist. Ignoring a toothache without seeking treatment, will only allow your tooth to get worst.

Restorative Treatments for Toothaches

In most cases, your toothache will be caused by dental decay, in which we will recommend one of the following restorative treatments:

Get a dental filling. If you have a cavity caused by exposed nerves in the tooth, it can lead to a great deal of pain, which can easily be treated with a dental filling. To protect the nerves, we will remove any of the decay by drilling around the cavity, then fill-in the area with a bonding material, which will restore the tooth and protect the nerves from causing pain.

Root canal therapy. Oftentimes, toothaches are caused by dental abscesses, which occur when the pulp of the tooth gets infected. For patients dealing with an abscessed tooth, we will recommend root canal therapy. During root canal therapy treatments, we will clean the inside of the tooth to remove the infection, drain the abscess, then fill the tooth and cover it with a dental crown to protect the tooth’s natural structure. Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy treatments are no longer as painful as they once were, due to improvements in anesthetics and dental technology.

Dental extraction followed by a dental implant. In cases where a tooth is too decayed or infected to repair, our only option will be to extract the tooth to alleviate pain. After extraction, we will recommend a dental implant, bridge, or denture restoration to take the place of the lost tooth.

Are you suffering from a toothache? Contact us and schedule an appointment with our office today for a proper treatment and diagnosis.