Cavity Pain: What it Feels Like, Relief & Remedies
Tooth decay destroys the hard enamel and cementum of your teeth, exposing the nerves and leading to sensitive teeth and toothaches. You need to see your dentist to get your tooth decay repaired, but what do you do until your appointment? Here are some dos and don’ts for dealing with cavity pain.
- Make an appointment to see your dentist right away
- Brush with warm water
- Try an OTC anti-inflammatory pain reliever
- Apply oil of cloves (eugenol)
- Keep your mouth as clean as possible
- Consider sealing the cavity with a temporary OTC filling material
- Put off treatment: The cavity could invade the nerves of the tooth
- Expose teeth to very hot or very cold temperatures
- Eat sugary or acidic foods
- Put topical pain relief medication directly on tooth or gum tissue
- Be afraid to gently floss and brush your teeth
Here are specific guidelines for dealing with discomfort.
Make Your Dental Appointment and Discuss Pain Relief
Before you take any pain-relief steps, call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. If you can’t be seen right away, ask the dentist what you can do to relieve the pain.To prevent drug interactions, be sure to tell him or her what medications you’re currently taking. If the pain fades temporarily, don’t cancel that appointment – the pain is bound to return, and the damage won’t have repaired itself.
Avoid Hot and Cold Foods and Beverages
Pass on Sweet or Acidic Foods and Beverages
Consider Over-the-Counter Pain Relief Medication
If your dentist agrees, take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medication. These products often relieve tooth decay pain, although perhaps not entirely. Never exceed the recommended dose in an attempt to get more relief. Generally speaking, a pain relief medication that reduces inflammation works best for dental pain, because most toothaches are caused by inflammation of the tissues or the nerve.
Never put pain relief medication on the tooth or gum tissue, as this could cause a chemical burn to your gums.
Try Using Oil of Cloves (Eugenol)
Brush and Floss
Seal the Hole Temporarily
A Word From Verywell
As soon as you develop a toothache, contact your dentist to see about getting an urgent appointment. Sometimes tooth decay pain may seem to come and go or appear to get better for a time, making you think you can postpone doing something about it.But the longer you wait to have the decay removed from the tooth, the deeper the cavity will go and the more pain it may cause. You could end up needing a root canal or even a tooth extraction instead of a simple filling. See your dentist and have your smile restored.