How to Manage a Cavity When a Toothache Begins Until You Get Seen by your Dentist

Dr. Antonio Otero
Oct 5, 2018 · 3 min read

Does your tooth hurt but the dental care is not available at the moment? Read on for the best strategy to temporarily reduce the pain and care for your teeth until you can set everything right at the dentist’s office.

Cavity Home Care Option #1: Cold Compression (Ice!)

When it comes to naturally stalling the pain from an ailing tooth, freezing the pain away is a simple, easy tactic. In addition to reducing the swelling that can make toothaches worse, cold compression also restricts blood flow to the tooth. This numbs the nerves and for a time reduces the pain signals sent to your brain.

How to Make it Work:

Take a bag of ice, wrap it in a paper towel and hold on the chin or cheek (wherever the problem tooth is) for 10 minutes or until you can feel noticeable relief. Repeat as necessary.

Cavity Home Care Option #2: Garlic

Garlic isn’t just a vampire’s worst nightmare — it’s also a cavity’s! Garlic acts as a powerful, widely available, and cheap pain reliever that can immediately turn the pain way down on your cavity.

How to Make it Work:

Use a knife or other kitchen utensil to cut and grind a garlic clove into mush and then apply it to the affected tooth. If you’re feeling up to it, chew on a raw garlic clove. Alternatively, if you have garlic powder available, you can add that to water and swish it around your mouth. However, though, that freshly chopped garlic offers the most potent pain-relieving qualities.

Cavity Home Care Option #3: Salt Water Mouthwash

Rinsing your mouth with salt water is another super-easy and cheap option using everyday household items. Like garlic, salt water mixed with warm water acts as a potent anti-inflammatory, reducing the swelling around the cavity and thus reducing the pain.

How to Make it Work:

Heat a bit of water in a pan, then add salt. The typical recipe calls for about 1/2 tablespoon for every 8 ounces of water. Don’t worry if it’s not exact, though. The important thing is to get the salt delivered to your tooth so it can clean away any debris and take the inflammation down. Swirl around your mouth like mouthwash for 30 minutes and then spit the salt water out.

Cavity Home Care Option #4: Herbal Remedies

Clove oil, thyme oil, turmeric powder, and ginger are all great band-aids for pain from a cavity. Ginger is especially potent and contains zingerone, shogaols and gingerols to quiet all the swelling in your mouth down and deliver a much-needed respite from tooth pain.

How to Make it Work:

Mix these ingredients in a water solution, or take them raw. Make sure to allow them to sit in your mouth, over the affected tooth, to allow them to work their magic on your sore tooth.

Combine all 4 of these quick remedies to keep yourself as pain-free as possible until you can schedule an appointment with the dentist.

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