• You're all caught up!

How to Stop the Pain in a Tooth With a Cavity

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
How to Stop the Pain in a Tooth With a Cavity
Use over the counter medication to help relieve pain. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Cavities occur when age, poor oral hygiene and other factors cause decay on the surface of your teeth. Eventually, that decay causes an opening on the tooth that exposes the sensitive nerve endings in your tooth. Cavity pain can be intense and prevent you from eating the things you like or participating in certain activities. Until you can get to the dentist, you can manage pain on your own using a variety of pain management techniques.

Step 1

Schedule an appointment with your dentist. While you may put a dentist's appointment off due to fear or finances, tooth pain does not often go away on its own and if you have a cavity, you'll need your dentist to fill the cavity to relieve your pain, notes KidsHealth.org. Allowing your cavity to fester can only cause more damage, resulting in more extensive dental work.Your dentist is the only person who can perform this procedure, so call him as soon as you notice pain or sensitivity to heat and cold.

Step 2

Apply a topical analgesic designed for toothaches and teething babies over the surface of your sore tooth, suggests the MayoClinic.com. Analgesics work to numb the nerve endings in order to dull the pain. Clove oil can also have a similar effect and it is easy to find at most drugstores. Never apply aspirin or other pain relievers directly to the tooth or your gums, as they can cause burns.

Step 3

Take an over the counter pain reliever according to package directions to help dull the pain for a short period of time, suggests MedlinePlus. Pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen work by relieving swelling in the body and blocking pain receptors so you feel better. Pain relievers should never be used as a long-term solution to treat cavity pain instead of visiting your dentist.

Step 4

Brush your teeth with warm water and avoid extreme temperatures. Cavities can make your tooth feel much more sensitive than usual, so avoid things like ice cream, hot coffee and other very hot or cold food or beverages that could cause your tooth even more pain.

Step 5

Continue with good oral hygiene even when you have a cavity. A sore mouth still needs to be cleaned and flossed at least twice per day. While it may be painful to brush over your sore tooth, use a soft bristled brush to ensure that any food particles have been removed, as they can make the pain worse.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media