Dental Emergency Guide: Five Tips for Dealing with Sudden Tooth or Jaw Pain

February 26, 2021

At American Dental, we know that tooth and jaw pain can make your life difficult. Pain in your teeth or jaw can make it difficult to eat, talk, or even sleep. If you’re experiencing mouth pain, it’s important to remember that it could be a sign of more serious issues. The first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your dentist. Of course, you may not be able to get an appointment right away, so here are a few tips to help you deal with the pain in the meantime:

Over-the-Counter Pain Medications

There are many conditions that can cause pain in the teeth or jaw, so until you can get to the dentist and find out what the problem is, OTC medications can help reduce pain and swelling. Just be sure to follow all instructions listed on the package and don’t use OTC medications as a long-term solution.

Cold Compress

Toothaches and issues with the jaw muscles can cause swelling and pain in the face. Applying a cold compress to the affected side of your face will constrict blood vessels in the area, bringing down swelling and numbing pain. For best results, use a bag of ice wrapped in a towel for 15-20 minutes every few hours.

Salt Water or Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

For sudden tooth pain, a salt or peroxide rinse may be the solution. To make a salt rinse, add 1 teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water and stir until dissolved. Swish the salt solution in your mouth for a few minutes and then spit it out and rinse your mouth clean. Salt acts as an antibacterial agent, can reduce inflammation, and can also remove lodged food particles from between the teeth.

A peroxide rinse is another option, although it should never be used by children. Dilute food-grade hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water and swish for a few minutes before spitting and rinsing your mouth with clean water. Be sure not to swallow the solution! Due to its antibacterial properties, peroxide can help reduce plaque and symptoms of gum disease.

Relax the Jaw

In some cases, jaw pain may be caused by muscle tension or Temporomandibular Joint disorders (TMJ). Making an effort to relax the jaw may alleviate these conditions. You may also want to consider massaging the affected area to relieve muscle pain.

Mouth Guard

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can lead to soreness and pain in the jaw muscles. It most commonly occurs during sleep, so wearing a mouthguard at night can help reduce tooth damage and jaw pain.

Get to a Dentist As Soon As Possible

We have compiled this list of home remedies to help you deal with sudden tooth or jaw pain. Remember that none of these should be used for long periods of time. It’s always best to identify the underlying condition causing your pain and deal with it as soon as you can. If you live in the Chicago area, American Dental has 7 convenient locations and we are waiting to hear from you. Visit our appointment page to find the location nearest you and call or click to schedule an appointment today. Don’t ignore your tooth or jaw pain; schedule an appointment with the best dentist in Chicago, and call American Dental today.

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