Sudden tooth pain can hit you like a bolt out of the blue and it could be just your luck that it occurs in the middle of the night or on a Sunday morning, leaving you wondering whether you should seek emergency toothache relief or wait until Monday morning when you can get to visit your dentist.

Sometimes the pain can be so intense that you may not be sure it’s even coming from a tooth. Typically symptoms of toothache include:

  • An intense throbbing that almost makes you want to bang your head against a wall
  • Red swollen gums
  • A sharp pain that feels as if someone is stabbing at your tooth with a sharp instrument
  • Inflammation around the tooth, particularly at the gum line

Tooth pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is amiss, and it could be the cause of a larger problem such as tooth decay. If left untreated, tooth decay can be more complex and more expensive to treat.


Should I Call or Should I Wait?

This is a dilemma that many people find themselves in. So, it may help you to know what is classed as a dental emergency and whether you should seek help right away or whether it can wait.


Emergency Toothache Relief – When It Can’t Wait

Obvious symptoms of a dental emergency are :

  • A knocked-out or dislodged tooth
  • Uncontrollable bleeding from the mouth
  • Signs of infection
  • Dental abscess
  • Severe toothache
  • Severe pain or discomfort that can’t be relieved using over-the-counter methods.

If you have trouble swallowing or breathing then it’s advisable to head straight to the emergency department of your local hospital.


When It Can Wait

If you feel you can delay seeing your dentist for a day or so, then it probably isn’t a dental emergency. Sometimes what may seem a critical problem can wait provided you take care of yourself. For example, a chipped tooth is only an emergency if it has left a sharp edge that could cause damage to the inside of your mouth.

A toothache can also wait unless it is severe, or you have signs of facial swelling which could indicate an abscess.

If you can relate to this and you can’t get to see your dentist right away, don’t worry.  We’ve listed a few toothache relief tips you can try at home to ease your pain.

Please note, these are only temporary pain relief techniques and should not be substituted for professional dental care.


Home Remedies For Toothache Relief

  1. Saltwater rinseOne of the easiest ways of alleviating tooth pain is to rinse your mouth or gargle with a tablespoon of salt diluted in warm water. The salt will help draw any fluid out of the gums that is causing the irritation and help relieve the pain. Repeat if necessary.
  2. Cold compress – If your face is swollen then try placing a cold compress, or pack of frozen peas wrapped in a cloth, on the inside or outside of the area with the aching tooth. Applying cold treatment for a few minutes at a time will constrict the blood vessels and slow the flow of blood to the affected area. This, in turn, will reduce inflammation and swelling and numb the pain.
  3. Over-the-counter painkillers – Painkillers such as Ibuprofen which most of us have in our medical cabinet can be taken according to dosage instructions and may help ease tooth pain and reduce swelling.
  4. Peppermint – Peppermint also has numbing properties and the menthol which gives it that fresh minty smell and taste is also known to be anti-bacterial. A few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton wool ball can be held directly against the tooth for a few minutes until the pain eases.

If your toothache lasts for more than a couple of days, then ask for a same-day appointment at your dentist for toothache relief and to discuss treatment.

Of course, the best way to avoid toothache in the first instance is to attend regular bi-annual dental check-ups and combine this with ongoing good oral hygiene practices at home.


If you need emergency toothache relief, then we always try to fit in same-day appointments wherever possible. So contact Randwick Smiles on (02) 8188 4625 and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

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