Toothache First Aid Management

A toothache can occur when we least expect it. The worst scenarios are when we aren’t able to see a dentist right away. Under this circumstance, it is important to learn how to manage a toothache in order to lessen the pain and its uncomfortable symptoms. While it is best to get to a dentist immediately, there are some things that you can do in order to relieve yourself from the symptoms of a toothache or to help lessen the pain and the discomfort it brings.

The material posted on this page on managing pain and toothaches is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage injuries and broken teeth register for a first aid course today.

Causes of toothache

Toothache management depends on the cause. Tooth decay is the most common source of a toothache and it is most likely due to the high sugar consumption and lack of oral hygiene. In certain cases, oral disease may also cause toothaches or there is an inflammation of the gums. Sometimes, pus may be formed on the teeth and its surrounding structures. Some toothaches may also be caused by physical injury.

Toothache management



These are common methods that come highly recommended that you can do at home in order to help relieve the inflammation involved and the pain caused by a toothache.

  1. Rinse or gargle the affected area with warm salt water for a couple of minutes and then spit the water out.
  2. Lightly floss teeth with any food particles that may be dislodged among the teeth. Some causes of toothaches are due to a food particle trapped between the teeth which cause pressure in the area thus the pain is felt.
  3. Take an over-the-counter medication for pain relief, such as aspirin or acetaminophen. If a toothache is felt by a child, it is recommended that the child should be given an acetaminophen.
  4. Apply over-the-counter topical medications or antiseptic drugs which contain benzocaine on the affected tooth and gum. This kind of medication can temporarily numb and decrease pain in the area.
  5. If the reason for a toothache is due to an injury or trauma, better apply a cold compress on the affected area. It is done by wrapping a cloth around an ice or better yet use an ice pack and put it on the cheek just outside of the affected area. This method can prevent any untoward swelling and inflammation.

These methods are a great help in alleviating toothache. After doing a first aid, it is then much better to see the dentist immediately so that your toothache concerns can then be addressed. But always remember that the best way to prevent toothache is to always maintain good dental hygiene.


Mayo Clinic. Toothache first aid. Retrieved on July 3, 2014 from

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