Toothache may be temporary or it could be a sign of something more serious. It can range in intensity from a mild ache to severe tooth pain, which may be constant or come and go. The pain may be isolated to a single tooth or spread to other parts of the face and jaw.
If your toothache is caused by an oral health problem such as tooth decay, a cracked tooth or an infection, you should make an appointment to see a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can try these home remedies to help relieve the pain.
1. Take pain relief medicine
The simplest way to get relief from a toothache or other pain is to take over-the-counter pain relief medication such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or pain-relieving gel. These should be taken with care, following the instructions and age recommendations on the packaging.
2. Apply ice
Cold temperatures can help to ease tooth pain and slow down the spread of an infection. To soothe your toothache, place a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in cloth against the outside of the cheek on the side of your face that hurts. Do not place ice directly against the tooth or gum.
3. Eat softer foods
If your tooth hurts when you bite down or chew, or it feels more sensitive to temperature, you may have a cracked tooth. Try to avoid eating on that side of your mouth until you can see a dentist and avoid foods that are hard, crunchy or very hot, cold or sweet.
4. Rinse you mouth with salt water
Salt water can sometimes soothe a toothache. Add one teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and hold the liquid in your mouth for around two minutes, then spit it out. Children should not be given salt water in case they accidentally swallow it and become sick. You should avoid putting salt in your mouth if you have any injuries or wounds, as this could be painful.
5. Improve your oral hygiene
Following good oral hygiene could help to ease a toothache, as well as lowering the risk of toothaches happening again in the future. To look after your oral health, dentists recommend that you:
- brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes, using fluoride toothpaste
- clean between your teeth every day using dental floss or an interdental brush
- avoid food and drink that's high in sugar
- don't smoke
- have regular dental check-ups
If your toothache doesn't go away, visit your dentist for a diagnosis and to discuss treatment options. This may involve fitting a dental crown to strengthen a cracked or weakened tooth, a root canal treatment to remove a tooth infection or other treatments to banish the pain and protect your teeth.
Looking for a dentist in Sydney CBD?
If you need to talk to a dentist or it's time for your routine check-up, get in touch with Sydney CBD Dental at 300 George Street.
 Healthdirect. Toothache and swelling [Online] 2017 [Accessed February 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/toothache-and-swelling
 NHS. Toothache [Online] 2018 [Accessed February 2019] Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/toothache/