Toothache (cont.)

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Are home remedies effective for toothaches?

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If a visit to the dentist is not immediately available, there are a few remedies that may help to ease a toothache in the meantime. Avoid chewing in the area of pain and minimize exposure of cold or hot food or drinks to the area. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) can be effective when taken regularly. Other pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and aspirin may also help. Rinsing the mouth out with warm water and thoroughly brushing and flossing could help remove food debris that is adding to the irritation. Oral pain relief products containing benzocaine (Orajel and Anbesol) can provide temporary relief to a tooth or the gum area. It is important to note that if there is any kind of swelling that is rapidly growing, a visit to an emergency room may be necessary as this kind of dental problem cannot wait.

Can toothaches be prevented?

The prevention of most causes of a toothache starts with a conscious effort to practice good oral home care and have regularly scheduled visits with a dental professional. Catching a small cavity or gum infection early can head off bigger problems such as an abscessed tooth or advanced gum disease. Additionally, avoid unnecessarily chewing on hard foods that could cause tooth fractures, such as ice and hard candies. When exposing teeth to acidic beverages such as soda, orange juice, and sports drinks, using a straw may help minimize sensitive teeth. Conscientious habits for the sake of dental health are a big step in preventing the unexpected toothache.


Davidson, Terence M. "Consultation for Temporal Mandibular Joint Disease (TMJ)." Oct. 10, 2010. University of California, San Diego. <>.

Additional resources from WebMD Boots UK on Toothache Treatment

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/11/2013

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Toothache - Temporalmandibular Joint (TMJ) Symptoms Question: Discuss the symptoms you've experienced with temporalmandibular joint (TMJ) disorder?
Toothache - Home Remedies Question: Please share home remedies for managing the symptoms of a toothache.