How to Stop the Pain in a Tooth With a Cavity

Cavities can cause sensitivity to one or more of the following: sweets, hot, cold, biting, and chewing. If the cavity is large enough that it reaches the nerve of the tooth, there may also be swelling and pus. There are short and long term fixes for pain relief.

Cavities occur when age, poor oral hygiene and other factors cause decay on the surface of your teeth. Eventually, that decay causes an opening on the tooth that exposes the sensitive nerve endings in your tooth.

Cavity pain can be intense and prevent you from eating the things you like or participating in certain activities. Until you can get to the dentist, you can manage pain on your own using a variety of pain management techniques.

See Dentist

Schedule an appointment with your dentist.

While you may put a dentist's appointment off due to fear or finances, tooth pain does not often go away on its own.

If you have a cavity, you will need your dentist to fill the cavity to relieve your pain.

Allowing your cavity to fester can only cause more damage, resulting in more extensive dental work. Your dentist is the only person who can perform this procedure, so call him as soon as you notice pain or sensitivity to heat and cold.

Toothache Topical Analgesic

Apply a topical analgesic designed for toothaches and teething babies over the surface of your sore tooth, suggests the MayoClinic. Analgesics work to numb the nerve endings in order to dull the pain. Clove oil can also have a similar effect and it is easy to find at most drugstores.

Warnings

Never apply aspirin or other pain relievers directly to the tooth or your gums, as they can cause burns.

Over-The-Counter Pain Reliever

Take an over the counter pain reliever according to package directions to help dull the pain for a short period of time.

Pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen work by relieving swelling in the body and blocking pain receptors so you feel better.

Warnings

Pain relievers should never be used as a long-term solution to treat cavity pain instead of visiting your dentist.

Brush With Warm Water

Brush your teeth with warm water and avoid extreme temperatures. Cavities can make your tooth feel much more sensitive than usual, so avoid things that could cause your tooth even more pain, like:

  •  ice cream
  •  hot coffee 
  • very hot or cold food or beverages.

Good Oral Hygiene

Continue with good oral hygiene even when you have a cavity.

A sore mouth still needs to be cleaned and flossed at least twice per day. While it may be painful to brush over your sore tooth, use a soft bristled brush to ensure that any food particles have been removed, as they can make the pain worse.

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