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How to Get Rid of a Toothache

If you have toothache, it’s vital that you book an appointment with your dentist so he or she can check if there is an underlying condition causing your pain, like a gum infection or something else. There’s little point visiting your GP as they won’t be able to help you and will just refer you on to your dentist anyway.

It can sometimes be tricky getting an appointment at short notice, as you probably know, so you can be left dealing with the pain until the time of your appointment. We have some tips in this blog post to help you cope with your toothache until you can see your dentist.

Think about what you’re eating

Very hot and very cold food and drink can make pain from a gum abscess worse. Try to make sure the things you eat and drink aren’t too extreme in temperature, and aim to eat things that are soft. It’s also a good idea to chew on the opposite side of your mouth to where you have the toothache.  

Use a cold compress

If your toothache is accompanied by swelling, a cold compress could help in the short term. Holding an ice pack to the affected area can soothe pain and reduce swelling and inflammation. If you don’t have an ice pack, you could try putting some ice cubes in a bag and wrapping it in a tea towel.

Bear in mind that swelling can also be a sign of a dental abscess, which can lead to a serious infection in your jaw if left untreated. Any swelling should be checked out by your dentist as soon as possible, to prevent it developing in anything more serious.

Take pain relief

Painkillers can help a lot with the pain from toothache. Anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen are the best option for an abscess but certain medical reasons mean that not everyone can take them. In these cases, paracetamol is a good option.

In some instances, one kind of painkiller might not be enough to relieve the pain of a gum or tooth infection. Adults can take paracetamol and ibuprofen together, following the dosage instructions in the patient information leaflets.

Keep your head elevated

You may find your tooth pain worsens or starts throbbing when you lie down ready to go to sleep. This can be alleviated by raising your head up on several pillows so that it is above your heart.