Written by dentist, Dr. Zeenat Jakhura

Toothaches just don’t usually pop out of nowhere. They are a sign of a problem.
Nobody wants to experience a toothache. They’re painful and kids especially are bothered by the discomfort of a toothache.

When your child complains of pain in his/her mouth, look inside the mouth. Use natural light and /or a torch and take a good look inside their mouth.

There’s no single cause of a toothache, but often childhood toothaches can be caused by:

  • Erupting teeth
  • Tooth cavities /erosion
  • Chipped/cracked tooth
  • Loose/missing fillings
  • Food stuck between teeth
  • A dirty mouth (improper brushing usually)

For children a toothache presents as an incessant pain that throbs with no relief in sight. Toothaches occur when erosion or decay penetrates the tooth’s pulp chamber, which contains nerves and blood vessels that are extremely sensitive. One of the most common reasons for toothache is diet-related, such as drinking too much soda, or eating foods that possess high sugar content, such as candy.

At the first sign of a toothache, check for obvious problems. Floss to remove stuck food pieces, check for a loose tooth, and inspect for any mouth injuries. Next, you can work to reduce symptoms until getting in to see the dentist.

Home Remedies for Reduce Symptoms Until You Get to the Dentist:

Warm Saltwater Rinse
An important step in relieving tooth pain is reducing oral swelling. If your child is old enough to swish and spit, they can use a warm saltwater solution to reduce inflammation. Mix a teaspoon of regular table salt into a small cup of warm water and have them swish it around every part of their mouth.
Salt works well to fight bacteria in the mouth that can cause infection and irritation.

Peppermint is another generally safe traditional pain reliever and one of the yummiest homemade toothache remedies. Peppermint tea is not only good for digestive health but also toothaches. The peppermint tea bags can soothe sensitive gums and numb pain in the mouth. To try this remedy at home, soak a peppermint tea bag in hot water for a minute and then let the teabag rest until it’s slightly warm. Apply the tea bag to the affected area for immediate relief.

Garlic is known for its general health benefits. It’s perfect for tooth irritation. Simply mash up a clove or two or garlic(and a pinch of salt if desired) making a paste. Use a cotton swab to spread the paste on the affected area.

Cold Compress
You can apply a cold compress to the outside of your child’s cheek, close to the sore area. A cold compress will cause the blood vessels in the area to constrict, making the pain less severe. Wrap a frozen compress or a bag of ice in a soft towel and help your child hold it in place to reduce pressure and swelling inside the mouth.

Clove Oil
Clove oil can also work as a pain reliever for toothaches. Make sure to dilute the clove oil with something food-safe like almond oil. Use a cotton swab to gently dab it on the affected area around the tooth. Keep in mind that clove oil can have an unpleasant taste and side effects if eaten, so it should only be used for older children who won’t swallow any. If you don’t have any clove oil, check your pharmacy for a child-safe over-the-counter oral medication containing clove oil as an active ingredient.

In addition to above, over the counter anti-inflammatories, like Ibuprofen, can help reduce pain and swelling.

These solutions should help ease your child’s toothache until you can schedule a dental appointment. Toothache pain can be caused by a variety of issues, including infections, an injury, a loose tooth, tooth decay or impacted food particles. A dentist will be able to identify the cause of the pain and recommend a solution.

Most importantly, don’t worry. You’re equipped with home remedies to comfort your child’s toothache and see them smile again in no time!

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