How to stop tooth pain fast

male professional dentist with gloves mask discuss what treatment will look like patient s teeth

If you’ve been battling raging tooth pain recently, you know just how miserable that can make life. It’s like having a tiny drill sergeant with a jackhammer constantly pounding away in your mouth, never letting up. As your friendly neighbourhood dentist, I’ve seen my fair share of patients come staggering through my doors looking like they just went a few rounds with the heavyweight champ of the world – all because of unrelenting tooth agony.


Now, I get it – when you’re stuck in that cycle of throbbing pain, difficulty eating, and feeling like your face is being used as a punching bag, the last thing you want is a lecture on potential causes. What you really need are some fast-acting toothache relief tactics to get you out of anguish mode ASAP. Well, you’ve come to the right place, my friends! I’m going to share some of my go-to tips for knocking out tooth pain quickly without having to take out a small loan for prescription meds.


But first, a quick public service announcement: Recurring or worsening tooth pain is not something to be ignored long-term. As tempting as it is to just keep popping pain pills, that’s often just masking an underlying issue that really needs professional dental attention. If at-home remedies don’t provide lasting relief after a couple days, bite the bullet and come see me so we can get to the root of the problem – literally! Leaving it unchecked could lead to bigger problems like infections or abscesses that are no fun for anyone.


Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get into how to stop tooth pain fast.

What is Tooth Pain?

You know that old saying about the only things guaranteed in life being death and taxes? Well, they clearly forgot to include tooth pain on that list too! Ask any dentist and they’ll tell you – tooth agony is pretty much an inevitable rite of passage that even the most militant flosser can’t avoid forever.


But what exactly is tooth pain, other than one of the most exquisite forms of mouth-based torture? Simply put, it’s your body’s way of screaming “Mayday, mayday, something’s very wrong in the gnashers department!”

Technically speaking, a tooth is made up of two main parts – the harder outer enamel layer, and an inner pulp chamber packed with nerves and blood vessels. When something like decay, trauma, or an infection manages to make its way through that enamel armour and start attacking the inner pulp, those distress signals get sent straight to your brain in the form of pounding, throbbing pain.


The stats really highlight just how common – and debilitating – this particular brand of hurt can be too. Get a load of these tooth pain numbers:


  • Around 1 in 4 adults admits to experiencing occasional tooth pain
  • 22% say tooth pain has disrupted their sleep patterns
  • 20% report missing work due to tooth agony
  • Toothaches are the #1 reason people seek emergency dental care
  • 90% of toothaches are caused by tooth decay, cracks, or gum infections


But before you start envisioning scenarios where pulling out your own teeth with rusty pliers somehow becomes a viable option, remember – this too shall pass! Okay, so maybe that’s overly optimistic. Tooth pain definitely isn’t something to be touched out long-term. However, there are some nifty short-term remedies that can provide blessed relief when you need it most, giving you a chance to regroup and book that dentist appointment ASAP.


So don’t resign yourself to a fate of constant grimacing and struggling to remember what solid food even feels like! We’ve got ways to send those molar gremlins packing temporarily so you can get back to focusing on literally anything other than the tiny-but-mighty riot happening inside your mouth. Just don’t get too cocky – those teeth have a funny way of finding you again if you don’t properly address the bigger issues…

How to stop tooth pain fast

Here are some fast remedies for tooth pain, along with some added commentary:

  • Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress to the outside of your cheek near the affected tooth can help reduce swelling and numb the pain temporarily. I often recommend this to patients who come in with a painful flare-up before we can get them in the chair.
  • Saltwater Rinse: Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and gently swish it around the affected area. The saltwater helps reduce inflammation and remove any trapped food particles that may be causing irritation. Just be careful not to swish too vigorously as that could further irritate things.
  • Clove Oil: This natural remedy has been used for centuries due to its numbing and anti-inflammatory properties. Just soak a small cotton ball with clove oil and gently apply it to the painful area. I had a patient swear by this when she had a bad toothache over a weekend before her appointment.
  • Over-the-Counter Pain Medication: Drugs like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can provide temporary relief by reducing inflammation and pain. Just be sure to use as directed. I always remind patients that while helpful, these only mask the pain rather than treating the underlying cause.
  • Oral Anaesthetic Gels: There are several over-the-counter anaesthetic gels like Orajel or Anbesol that contain benzocaine to numb the area. You just apply a small amount directly to the painful tooth/gums. They can provide short-term relief, but avoid using too frequently as that can cause further irritation.

Of course, these are just temporary remedies to get you through until you can be seen by your dentist to properly diagnose and treat the issue. Unresolved tooth pain can often signal a bigger underlying problem like a cavity, cracked tooth, gum infection or abscess that requires professional treatment. So use these as a short-term fix, but don’t delay in getting it properly evaluated!

…At the end of the day, nobody should have to walk around feeling like they’re being constantly hazed by their own teeth. Tooth pain is one of the most draining, miserable phenomenons we tooth professionals see. But you don’t have to just grin and bear it – nor do you have to break the bank on expensive medicines to get relief.

With a few clever home remedies and some patience, you can often “bully” those throbbing nerves back into submission and get a temporary reprieve from the anguish. It may not be an absolute cure, but it buys you some time and restores your sanity until you can get to the dentist and tackle any bigger underlying issues at play.

Because here’s the cold hard truth – if you try to just power through chronic, severe tooth pain with zero intervention, you’re playing with fire. Unaddressed issues like cavities, cracks, gum disease or abscesses can quickly turn into full-blown dental emergencies that make a root canal look like a walk in the park. And unless you’re into having to wear those Terminator-style tooth prosthetics, you’ll want to deal with problems on the sooner side before they have a chance to decimate your smile.

So try some of those natural tooth pain relievers in the meantime, but also keep your dentist on speed dial in case you need to get properly sidelined from active tooth duty. We’ve got plenty of techniques beyond just prescribing painkillers, whether that’s fillings, crowns, or extractions. And remember, if you’re in Dublin and need urgent dental care, our team is here for you as your emergency dentist in Dublin.

Remember, your teeth play a huge role in not just your overall health, but your basic quality of life too!

Book Your Dental Checkup for Lasting Relief

Dublin City Dentist is your go-to for professional care and advice. Our team specialises in treating sensitive teeth, offering solutions that provide both immediate relief and long-term protection. Contact us today to take the first step towards a healthier, pain-free smile.

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