Even under normal circumstances, toothaches are awful. A mild one can keep you from comfortably eating, and a severe one can make it impossible to sleep or even function at all. And, unfortunately, dealing with a toothache during COVID-19 can be even more stressful because, while dentists are still open for emergencies, their hours have been reduced. But not to worry! Below, you’ll learn about 6 at-home toothache remedies to manage pain and stay comfortable until you see a dentist.
Applying an ice pack or cold compress to the outside of your lip or cheek can reduce pain and inflammation from a toothache. However, only do this for 15-20 minutes at a time to protect your skin.
Swishing with saltwater every few hours is a safe and effective way to soothe pain and promote healing. To make it, just put a ¼ teaspoon of salt into a glass of lukewarm water and dissolve.
Garlic contains a powerful antibacterial agent called allicin that targets the bacteria that cause cavities. For this remedy, cut a small clove of garlic in half and chew it slightly before leaving it on the surface of your tooth for 10-20 minutes.
4. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea has small amounts of menthol, a compound with mild analgesic (numbing) effects. To temporarily relieve a toothache, swish with lukewarm peppermint tea several times or hold a wet, lukewarm peppermint tea bag on the tooth itself.
Did you know that clove has been used in dentistry since the 1800s? It contains an antibacterial compound called eugenol that relieves pain and inflammation and encourages healing. However, since clove is very strong, it should only be used for adults.
To use whole cloves, grind them and soak them in water to make a paste and apply a small amount to your tooth for 10-15 minutes. You can also use a very small amount of clove oil from the drugstores or pharmacy (put just 1-2 drops in a glass of lukewarm water and swish with it periodically).
6. Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
Most people have OTC pain medications on hand like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or acetaminophen. It’s absolutely fine to take these as directed for dental pain. However, don’t forget that you still need to see a dentist, even if your pain subsides. Some toothaches are the result of an infection that can spread to the rest of the body and become very dangerous if left untreated.
During COVID-19, you can’t always see a dentist for emergency care right away. But with these 6 toothache remedies, you can at least stay comfortable until your visit.
About the Author
As a general and emergency dentist, Dr. Chris Long’s office is open for emergency care during COVID-19. And, as always, he’s happy to chat over the phone if someone has a dental problem and isn’t sure if they need care or not. If you have a toothache during COVID-19 or have any questions, he can be reached via his website.