Ever experienced a toothache so bad that it feels difficult to fall asleep? No matter what you do, the pain does not seem to go away.
A toothache can be so annoying sometimes and finding a solution for it is often difficult as different types of toothaches require distinct solutions and it is often difficult to diagnose it by ourselves. In this article, I will be discussing the different types of toothaches and some home remedies to help you get rid of that agonizing pain.
Different Types Of Toothache And How Severe Is It?
A toothache is described as a pain or inflammation around or inside the teeth and we cannot point out a single reason as its root cause.
Tooth pain can range from dull to sharp depending upon its severity.
This is the most common type of toothache and can be caused by a variety of reasons. The pain can range from mild to moderate, either in a single tooth or multiple teeth. Usually, these aches come and go but sometimes can lead to more serious teeth problems.
A dull ache is not caused due to any underlying health conditions. Excessive tooth grinding, especially during sleep, the arrival of a wisdom tooth, and an abscessed tooth can cause dull toothaches. Another root cause of this issue is having food stuck between your teeth or gums.
Flossing can help get rid of the food that got stuck in your teeth from your last meal and would be ideal to include flossing in your nighttime routine. In the case of tooth grinding, it is better to talk to a doctor about your concern.
A sharp jabbing or throbbing sensation in your teeth, and is often caused by the fracture, decay, or wearing of the crown of your teeth. This can lead to the cracking of the enamel or dental cavity. The sharp pain can be pointed to a single tooth and can cause a part of the tooth to get chopped off. So it is important to get help from the dentist even if the pain is not chronic.
Hot & Cold sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a common issue and is characterized by shooting pain through your tooth and gums. It is caused due to worn-down enamel, the outermost protective layer of your teeth. This exposes the dentin, which is covered with nerve endings. If you are experiencing sensitivity in the roots, it might be due to receding gums. Stop Tooth Pain using toothpaste for sensitive teeth and avoiding extreme hot and cold foods are advised.
If the pain is severe and lasts more than 30 seconds, it is more likely to be more serious issues like tooth decay, exposed roots, fractures, and gum diseases. If your pain is severe, talk with your doctor at the earliest.
Home Remedies For Tooth Pain
Now that you know how to identify your tooth pain according to the severity, your next concern might be the ways to fix it. Let me tell you some home remedies to help you subside your pain. Chances are, you might have heard at least 3 of these remedies that I will be discussing today.
👉 Apply cold Compress
This might be the first thing people recommend if you say you are suffering from a toothache. You can apply a cold compress or an ice pack to relieve the dental pain. This can be effective for toothaches due to injury or swollen gums. This helps the blood vessels of that area to constrict and makes the pain less severe by reducing the inflammations. Hold a bag of ice wrapped in a towel or a pack of frozen foods, against the outside of your cheeks, above the painful tooth for 20 minutes. Repeating this process every few hours can help numb the pain.
👉 Baby aspirin
Aspirin is an excellent pain relief that can be bought without any prescription and usually taking aspirin can relieve tooth pain. But aspirin can cause overdosing in some people and children. So there is a comparatively lower dose of this painkiller- baby aspirin, which can be effective in removing tooth pain by direct application.
Crush up some baby aspirin to a fine powder and apply it directly to the affected area. The powdered tablet will dissolve, gradually relieving your pain.
Cloves contain eugenol, which is a chemical compound that acts as a natural anesthetic. It has been used to relieve toothaches for centuries. Bitting on cloves for at least 15 minutes. can help to effectively numb the pain and reduce swelling. Cloves also have excellent anti-microbial properties, which help to fight tooth decay and gum infection.
👉 Brandy or whiskey
Yeah, you read it right.
But it is not getting drunk and forgetting about you ever had a toothache in the first place. You can numb the ache by swishing alcohol through your mouth. If that is something off-putting, soak a cotton ball in whisky, scotch, or vodka and directly apply it to the affected area.
👉 Take anti-inflammatory
This is self-explanatory. Most of cases swelling of the oral cavity can trigger tooth pain and taking anti-inflammatory drugs can help to reduce the swellings of that area. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Naproxen, Advil, and Ibuprofen can help reduce dental pain by reducing oral inflammations.
Just like applying a cold compress, salt water is also a staple household remedy for tooth pain. Salt is anti-inflammatory in nature and has excellent wound healing properties. No wonder, we used to put salt on our wounds, back in the old days.
Rinsing your mouth for about 30 seconds with warm salt water helps to loosen debris lodes in cavities. Repeating the process every few hours can help reduce inflammation, kill harmful bacteria, and reduce severe tooth pain.
👉 Vanilla extract
Vanilla extract contains alcohol, which is an active ingredient in numbing aches. You can either take a few drops of vanilla extracts in your fingers to massage the throbbing tooth and gums or dab a cotton ball in a small amount of vanilla extract and place it on the affected area. Plus, the scent of vanilla has a soothing effect, which can help ease the pain. Vanilla extract offers temporary pain relief and is not recommended for frequent reapplication.
👉 Use a hot pack
Playing with temperature might help. Just as the cold pack helps to reduce inflammation, a hot pack might help soothe the pain. If you do not have access to a hot pack, simply fill a sock with rice and pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Your DIY hot pack is ready. The heat from the pack will help interrupt the pain signals to the brain. But make sure that you do not use excess heat
👉 Vicks vaporub
Not just for cold and blocked noses, the Vicks Vaporub is also used to relieve tooth pain by reducing swellings. The heat generated can help to interrupt the pain signals from your tooth to your brain. Apply a dab of the Vicks Vaporub to the affected area, outside your cheeks, and put a cloth or towel above it to generate heat.
👉 Try acupressure
Acupressure has been practiced in China for at least 2000 years as an alternative medicine technique. Acupressure is a treatment that makes use of different pressure points in the body to trigger a variety of health benefits. The acupressure practitioners suggest some pressure points that can help heal tooth pain. Small intestine 18, gall bladder 21, large intestine 4, stomach 6, and stomach 36 are some of the main pressure points when activated, providing relief to toothaches. Applying pressure to these points signals the body to reduce tension and lower the pain. It can be done by ourselves or with the help of a friend or by a professional.
👉 Use tea bags
Specifically, peppermint tea has numbing properties that can provide instant pain relief and can help soothe gums. The menthol present in peppermint has antibacterial properties which can help prevent tooth decay and cavities. Soak peppermint tea bags in hot water and let the tea bags cool down a bit and apply this slightly warm tea bag to the affected area. Or you can boil dries peppermint leaves with water for 15 to 20 minutes and let it turn slightly warm. Swish the peppermint tea around in your mouth for several minutes until the pain subsides.
You can also add a few drops of peppermint oil to a cotton pad and rest it on the affected areas.
👉 Try fresh garlic
Garlic has a variety of health benefits, which also include relieving tooth pain. It contains allicin, a compound that has powerful antibacterial properties. Crush a freshly peeled garlic clove and add a little salt to it. Apply this mixture to the affected area to get maximum results.
Or you can chew one to two garlic cloves. Repeat this a few times a day for all your pain to subside. Garlic provides temporary or permanent pain relief depending on the root cause of the toothache.
👉 Honey & Cinnamon
Honey and cinnamon have been individually evaluated for their anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Both of these can relieve pain by preventing bacterial infection and reducing swellings. When these potent ingredients come together, there is a great deal in relieving throbbing tooth pain.
All you gotta do is mix 5 tablespoons of cinnamon with one tablespoon of honey and apply it to the affected areas, many times a day.
👉 Hydrogen Peroxide
If your toothache is due to infection, Stop Tooth Pain by a hydrogen peroxide rinse.
It is recommended to swish equal amounts of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with water. This can. 3 percent hydrogen peroxide is excellent in reducing plaque and killing bacteria. As hydrogen peroxide cannot be swallowed, it is always advised to rinse your mouth with plain water. Hence, it is not recommended for children.
👉 Rinse with guava mouthwash
Just like other remedies on the list, guava has excellent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. For ages, people have been chewing on guava leaves as a remedy for toothache. Simply chewing on guava leaves can help subside the pain. Make sure to choose tender guava leaves.
If guava leaves are not accessible to you every time, it is a smart choice to buy a guava mouth wash and I am sure, this will come in handy.
👉 Use clove oil
Add 2 o 3 drops of clove oil to a quarter teaspoon of carrier oils like olive oil, dip a cotton ball in this mixture and rest the ball on the sore tooth. Keep it as such for 5 to 10 minutes before throwing it away from your mouth.
Cloves oil contains eugenol, which numbs the affected area. Even though it offers pain relief, the results are temporary and you might have to consider talking to a doctor if the pain worsens.
This traditional Indian spice is also known as heeng and is known for its excellent medicinal properties. It is also a good remedy for toothaches due to cavities. Add a pinch of asafetida to almost 5 ml of squeezed lemon juice. Heat the mixture while stirring continuously, until asafetida dissolves. After cooling down, apply the solution to the affected area using a cotton pad.
👉 Try homemade thyme mouthwash
Let’s talk about an easy DIY mouthwash that can help relieve tooth pain. Add a few drops of thyme essential oil to a glass of water to make a homemade mouthwash. Use it as you would with a regular mouthwash. The thymol present in thyme oil has powerful antibacterial and antioxidant properties that help treat toothaches. You can also sprinkle a few drops of the oil along with some water onto a cotton dip and bite on the cotton ball until the pain subsides.
Reasons For Toothache
What might be the reason for this throbbing sensation in my tooth? Everyone who ever had tooth pain must have brooded this.
As I have mentioned, diagnosing the actual cause of the tooth pain is critical that it makes the treatment for the issue rather straightforward. A toothache can be the result of bacterial infection, injury, loss of a tooth, or extraction of a tooth. It is commonly caused when the nerves inside the roots of the teeth or their surroundings get irritated. Excessive bacterial growth and wearing of the enamel can further worsen the pain.
Moreover, pain that originates in other areas can radiate to the oral cavity, which can appear to be a toothache. Ear pain, Sinus, etc… are some of them.
Now let us jump into some of the most common causes of toothaches in detail.
✅ Tooth decay:
Tooth decays is the permanent damage of the enamel or the outermost surface of the tooth. It can develop tiny holes that when untreated can lead to cavities and even tooth loss. The bacterial infection leads to tooth decay. Our mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria and some of them help in the proper digestion of the food by breaking down the starchy foods to form plaque. The bacteria in plaque make acid, which begins to corrode the minerals on your enamel. The excess consumption of starchy foods, lack of proper dental hygiene, and not getting enough fluoride are some of the risk factors that can lead to tooth decay.
Usually rinsing your mouth after you eat something, brushing 2 times a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and avoiding excessive sugary foods can help to keep your teeth away from dental cavities.
If you are currently suffering from tooth decay fluoride treatments and fillings can help prevent further damage to the enamel. But if the condition is worsen, the dentist will opt for a root canal or tooth extraction.
✅ Gum disease:
Periodontitis or gum disease is a serious gum infection that damages the gum tissues and can even damage the bones that support the teeth. If ignored this can lead to loosening of teeth or even tooth loss. Poor oral hygiene is the main reason for gum diseases and therefore is largely preventable. Gingivitis, smoking, chewing tobacco, genetics, and certain diseases like obesity and diabetes can lead to gum diseases.
The common symptoms of periodontitis are puffy gums, bleeding gums, reddish or purplish gums, spitting out blood after brushing, painful chewing, or loose teeth.
Brushing twice daily, flossing, and regular visit to the dentist can help prevent periodontitis
Bruxism is the excessive grinding of the teeth unconsciously, especially when you sleep. But bruxism can occur even during the daytime. Usually, this has no symptoms but some people tend to develop headaches, jaw pain, and even teeth pain. It is often difficult to diagnose this issue as people often do not realize this until the complications develop.
Bruxism is common in both children and adults. The children with this condition might improve on their own but for adults, dental guards might be necessary.
Teeth grinding can lead to flattened or chipped teeth, increases tooth pain, tired or tight jaw muscles, dull headaches, and sleep disruption. If you experience any of these issues, consult a dentist before finding treatments for yourself.
✅ Sensitive teeth:
If you ever experienced a sharp shooting sensation that goes through your teeth, every time you eat or drink something cold or hot, you know what teeth sensitivity is.
Often referred to as tooth sensitivity, ‘dentine hypersensitivity’ is the discomfort from hot and cold temperatures and is caused by worn-down enamel. In some people, the outer surface of the tooth gets faded away over time, exposing the dentin, which is the living part of the teeth that contains several nerve endings. Now as you much on hot or cold foods, they come in direct contact with the nerves and send out a painful discomfort.
Using a hard bristled brush, brushing your teeth too hard, bruxism, etc…can lead to sensitive teeth. Moreover, broken or chipped teeth, and tooth decay can also cause sensitivity to the tooth. Furthermore, other health conditions like Gastroesophageal reflux and frequent vomiting can cause acid to come up to your mouth, resulting in the wearing of the enamel.
And if you experience sensitivity in the roots, it might be a sign of receding gums
You may also experience temporary sensitivity after getting a filling or tooth bleaching, which usually subsides after a few days.
If you have sensitive teeth, it is always advised to avoid excessive hot and cold foods and to use desensitizing toothpaste. Dentists may apply bonding resins and do surgical gum drafting to help cover the dentine and help overcome sensitivity. If the pain is severe and lasts for a long time, it is better to Stop Tooth Pain by consulting dentists and may go with a root canal.
The dental pulp is a connective tissue that resides within the center of your teeth, beneath the layer of the dentin. It consists of mass connective tissues, and nerves that together form the dentin, and the main function is to bring nutrition to the teeth.
Pulpitis is basically the painful inflammation in the dental pulp. There are 2 types of pulpitis- reversible pulpitis and irreversible pulpitis.
Normally, the pulp is protected by outer layers, and when these protective layers are compromised bacteria enter the pulp and cause infection. This results in inflammation and causes pain and pressure on the pulp. The common reasons for the outer layer to wear out are cavities, fractured teeth, or injury.
Reversible pulpitis is when the inflammation is mild and the damage to the dental pulp can be reversed. Irreversible pulpitis happens when the inflammation and the pain are severe. In this condition, the tooth pulp cannot be saved. Irreversible pulpitis may lead to infections at the root of the tooth. If ignored the infection will affect other body parts such as the jaw, sinus, and brain.
The symptoms of pulpitis include pain, inflammations, and sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet foods. But when it comes to irreversible pulpitis, you might experience additional symptoms like swollen lymph nodes, bad breath, and a bad taste in the mouth.
As such the treatment also varies according to the type of pulpitis. If you have reversible pulpitis, combating the issue that caused the inflammation can resolve the issue.
But if you are suffering from irreversible pulpitis, you might want to consult a specialist, such as an endodontist. The specialist might recommend pulpectomy, in which the pulp is removed leaving the rest of the teeth intact. After removing the pulp, the hole is disinfected and sealed after filling.
✅ Fractured tooth:
A cracked tooth or fractured tooth is when a crack appears in the tooth. The crack can sometimes be small or sometimes cause the tooth to break or split. It might be a result of chewing on hard foods or grinding your teeth during sleep. Age plays an important role in cracked tooth syndrome as it is most common in children and older people.
If you have just cracked your tooth, immediately apply an icepack or rinse your mouth with salt water and seek medical help. The medical expert might recommend cosmetic contouring, bonding, extraction, root canal, or veneer according to the degree of fracture.
A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus developed in the root of the teeth that are caused by bacterial infections. Abscess teeth may be a result of an untreated cavity, gum disease, or injury.
Symptoms include severe and persistent pain, tooth sensitivity, fever, swelling, and difficulty in breathing or swallowing.
After diagnosis, the dentist might recommend antibiotics, extraction, root canal, or surgery depending on the severity of the issue.
✅ Impacted tooth:
A condition in which a tooth gets stuck in the gum tissue or bones and got partially or completely blocked from coming out. The impacted tooth can be discovered through X-ray imaging and the symptoms include red and swollen gums, bad breath, difficulty in opening the mouth, and pain while chewing.
An impacted tooth can be due to the overcrowding of the area, which leaves no room for the teeth to emerge. The teeth might become tilted, twisted, or even displaced as they try to emerge.
Usually, there is no need to be concerned about the issue, if the tooth does not cause any problems but if the impacted tooth cause issues like pain or a change in appearance, the doctor might recommend putting on braces, to align the tooth properly. If that is not possible, tooth extraction or surgery might be the solution.
How To Stop Tooth Pain Fast?
Now that you have understood the most common reasons for toothache, it is also important to know some quick ways to stop that tormenting pain.
Primarily it is important to understand the severity of the pain and observe the symptoms. You can try any of the home remedies for instant pain relief, and repeat the process if necessary.
Sometimes flossing and brushing your teeth can help get rid of the food particles that got stuck between your teeth.
Or if it is mild tooth pain, the simple home remedies mentioned in the earlier sections will help to overcome the pain. Swishing with salt water and applying a cold pack is always recommended. Apart from these, you can incorporate other remedies to get faster results.
If the home remedies do not seem to suit you, you can either go for over-the-counter pain relievers to get rid of the pain or antibiotics to help combat the bacterial infections. If the toothache is due to inflammations, taking anti-inflammatory drugs can also be useful.
When To See A Dentist
You have learned the different types of toothaches, their causes, and some home remedies to overcome the pain. Yet it is crucial that you treat the root cause and not the symptoms. Of course, these home remedies provide some relief to the pain.
So, if the tooth pain is unbearable and has been bothering you for more than 2 to 3 days, I would strongly endorse you to take a dentist’s appointment. Moreover, toothache combined with high fever, headache, and trouble breathing or swallowing is clear signs that you should see a doctor. These could sometimes be an indication of something serious that might need immediate attention.
How To Stop Tooth Pain Before It Starts?
As they always say “prevention is better than cure”, maintaining proper oral hygiene is the
Best way to prevent any tooth-related issues, including toothache. Here are some of the best ways you can prevent a toothache from creeping in:
- Brush your teeth 2 times a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Use a soft-bristled brush and try brushing your teeth gently.
- Use a good quality mouthwash.
- Including flossing in your nighttime routine.
- Try brushing your teeth with baking soda once a week.
- Practice oil pulling.
- Take a dentist’s appointment every 6 months.
- Do not forget to clean your tongue.
- Chew sugar-free gums.
- Gargle with salt water
Apart from these always make sure to follow a healthy diet. Just like any other body part, following a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins can help maintain proper oral health. Moreover, adding calcium-rich foods to your diet can ensure healthy teeth. Plus, combating Iron and Vitamin B12 deficiency keeps the health of the gums in check.
Toothaches may be the result of bacterial infections, mouth traumas, inflammations, general sensitivity, or certain diseases. It is crucial that you have a basic knowledge about the different types of aches, the reasons, and some quick fixes for the issue.
As said earlier, a minor toothache can be addressed at home but be sure to reach out to your doctor if the toothache is extremely painful, unbearable, and comes with other symptoms like fever, headaches, and mouth swellings.
Being said, toothache is a common issue, and maintaining proper oral hygiene is the best way to prevent this malady.
Dr. Edward Zelman works as a Neurologist with the expertise of over 15 years, helping more than thousands to get back in complete health through his research-proven treatments. He earned his Masters from Harvard University and completed his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Edward Zelman is one of the notable names in the medical industry for his work in pain management, chronic disorder, and so on. He is also a former faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At present, Dr. Edward Zelman is researching safe and effective natural remedies that can restore as well as maintain the youthful functioning of the body.