A toothache is usually caused by dental decay, sometimes called dental caries or dental cavities. You may experience a sharp or throbbing pain after eating something cold or if you are also suffering from a sinus infection. An ear infection or a heart attack can cause referred pain to your tooth. You should contact your dentist if you experience a toothache caused by dental decay. In the meantime, you can relieve your tooth pain quickly at home with home remedies and over-the-counter medications.
Swish your mouth with warm water, recommends MayoClinic.com. If your toothache started or got worse after you took a bite of ice cream or a sip of icy water, the warm water may calm the nerve temporarily. Swishing vigorously can also remove any particles of food that are stuck in a cavity, causing pain.
Remove anything stuck between your teeth. Use dental floss or a water pik to clean out around the gums. A sliver of popcorn or a small string from corn on the cob can cause a toothache if you allow it to remain stuck in your teeth.
Take an over-the-counter pain medication to control the pain, suggests Medline Plus. Try acetaminophen or ibuprofen if you do not have health issues that prevent you from taking them. Follow the directions on the bottle carefully and avoid overdosage.
Place a whole clove between your aching tooth and your cheek. The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies states that cloves and clove oil can temporarily relieve a toothache. Once the clove softens up, chew on it gently for up to a half hour.
Apply ice to the side of your face. The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies suggests wrapping an ice pack in a towel and holding it to your face for 15 minutes per hour. If you are experiencing swelling with your toothache, the ice will reduce it, along with reducing the nerve inflammation.
Things You'll Need
OTC pain medication
If you have sinus congestion or ear pain on the same side as your toothache, see your doctor; you may have a sinus or ear infection that is radiating pain into your tooth.
If you are experiencing chest, jaw or neck pain along with your toothache, or if you have other symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 or seek emergency medical care.