Dr. Michael Sinkin, D.D.S.
Dr. Sinkin's Blog: The Dental And The Incidental

5 Ways to Get Relief for a Toothache

July 7th, 2011 by

There’s nothing more painful than a toothache (except maybe childbirth!). It can come on without warning and knock you right off your feet. If you’ve ever had one, you know what I mean. While the best thing to do is get to a dentist immediately, I understand that’s not always possible.

So, instead of trying “home remedies” here are some tried and true temporary toothache pain relief solutions that have worked really well for many of my patients through the years. You can find most of them right in your local pharmacy.

5 Ways to Relieve a Toothache

1. Warm Salt Water: Rinse your mouth with warm salt water for soothing relief.

2. Dent’s Toothache Gum: This nifty remedy has been around for decades, (and no, you don’t chew it!) You simply press a piece on the affected tooth and it can relieve your pain.

3. Ambesol: Their motto is “Dentist Strong so the Pain is Gone!” Apply to your gums for temporary relief.

4. Sensodyne Toothpaste: Rub continually on the affected tooth.

5. Advil, Motrin, Aleve, or Tylenol (as long as you aren’t allergic) will help with the pain. (I have discovered that taking 2-3 Advils and 1 Extra-Strength Tylenol together can be very effective in providing pain relief for toothaches.)

Remember, a toothache is a sign of a problem that won’t go away by itself. It can be caused by tooth decay (a cavity), an infection, or even a cracked tooth. Please see a dentist as soon as you can.

Feel Better!

Dr. Michael Sinkin is a general dentist in New York City. He loves being a dentist and is known throughout the city for taking wonderful care of his patients and for his wicked sense of humor. For more about Dr. Sinkin, click here

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DISCLAIMER: The advice I offer in response to your questions is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. Namely, I am in no way offering a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation. My intent is solely educational and my responses to your actual questions serve as springboard to discussion of a variety of dental topics that come up in day-to-day dental practice. Any advice offered is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.

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6 Comments on “5 Ways to Get Relief for a Toothache”

  • 7 Home Remedies for Toothache: A Dentist’s Opinion | Dr. Michael Sinkin, D.D.S September 12th, 2011 10:51 am

    […] 5 Ways to Get Relief for a Toothache […]

  • Jamie February 5th, 2013 5:55 pm

    Hi I’m Jamie Guthrie! I went to the Dentist to get my cavity fixed and the Dentist fixed it but it started hurting so I went back to him. He told me it was just a nerve! He gave me medicine for it! Then after all that it started hurting again! This is my 5 toothache this year idk what it could be! Please help me with things I can do for it! Thanks

  • Michael Sinkin February 7th, 2013 1:13 pm

    Hi Jamie,

    Thanks so much for reading my blog.
    I’m sorry for your dental woes. 5 toothaches in a year?! Something sounds amiss. Have you had a thorough exam by your dentist and have been under treatment or have you been dealing with emergencies as they develop? If it’s the latter situation, you need to have a complete evaluation and treatment plan. It’s easier and more economical to prevent a crisis before it happens. If you have multiple problems and limited finances, there are ways to stabilize your teeth and stage your treatment over time to ma age costs. If you have been going for regular dental care and are having these problems, maybe a second opinion is a good idea. A tooth that hurts before and after treatment sounds like a situation that warrants further care-most likely root canal. Just the nerve? That’s what brought you to the dentist in the first place. It sounds to me that a change is in order.
    Hope this was of some help. -Dr. Sinkin

  • Jamie February 7th, 2013 9:57 pm

    Thanks! I called the Dentist again to tell him my tooth was hurting he just said ohh its a nerve just come to my office. The last time I went my tooth was hurting he tapped on it 6 times and told me it was a nerve. He didn’t take a X-ray. He just gave me medicine for it. The next day it was swollen. It looked like a baseball was in my jaw. I called him and asked him why it was swollen he just told me to start taking 2 doses of my medicine. So I’m just thinking about going to another Dentist

  • angel wright March 29th, 2013 1:14 am

    Hi my name is ángel and ur blog helped me out alot. My problem is that my insurance dosnt Pau for dental visite and I have 4 wisdom Terry and 2 ole Root Canals that Ness to b pulled. Its been hurting now for over 2months and im getting to the point Where I just want to pull it my self. Ive tired everything from pills evn mixing them, jells,salt water that Sesma to hurt jus to swish around my mouth and nothing is working. The pills take affect for only 1hr. I cant sleep or nothing. Is there any other Medicine i can try? One that Sesma to work great? Ive found out that 100% Vanilla extract works but I got used to it.please help me.thanks alot.

  • Michael Sinkin April 1st, 2013 9:36 am

    Dear Angel,
    I’m truly sorry to hear of the severity of your dental woes. Home remedies are intended to give relief from pain due to minor dental or oral maladies until they either resolve by themselves (as in the case of an apthous ulcer) or you can get to a dentist for proper evaluation and treatment. The problems you describe sound severe and no self-administered first aid is going to resolve them. YOU MUST SEE A DENTIST ASAP. I fear you are at risk of serious infection which could very well endanger your health. Severe oral infections can be life threatening. Ludwig’s angina is one example of an oral infection gone awry compromising one’s ability to breathe. Bacteria causing infection don’t care about it’s “victim’s ” insurance status. Please seek out professional care.

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