Dental Blog

How to Relieve a Toothache at Home

How to Relieve a Toothache at Home

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toothache dentist holland miFirst, let’s be clear. You should always call our office if you’re experiencing any dental pain or discomfort. Depending on the severity of your toothache, you may be able to see our dentist in a few days or right away. But there are a few things you can do to relieve your toothache in the meantime.

Here’s what we recommend.

Floss Your Teeth

It’s not uncommon for a piece of food to get lodged between two teeth. When this happens, it can irritate the gums and even cause a mild toothache. That’s why we always recommend that patients gently floss their teeth if they’re experiencing any mild dental discomfort.

If you do dislodge a piece of food, don’t be worried if you notice a bit of blood on the floss. This may happen if a piece of food was irritating the gums for a prolonged period of time.

If you notice blood while flossing the following day, this could be a sign of gingivitis. Gingivitis is gum inflammation that you can reverse by practicing good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day.

For more oral care tips, be sure to check out our blog post on how to avoid gum disease.

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers can help you relieve a toothache until you’re able to see a dentist. If you’re unsure what over-the-counter medications to take, please call our office and we’d be more than happy to offer our recommendations.

Sleep With Your Head Elevated

It’s not uncommon for a toothache to feel worse at night. This happens for two reasons. The first is that you have fewer distractions from the pain when you’re trying to fall asleep.

The second is that when you lay down, more blood is able to rush to your head. When this happens, the increased blood flow puts more pressure on the painful tooth.

One solution is to sleep with your head elevated. You may either sleep on an extra pillow or sleep in your favorite reclining chair, whatever works best for you.

Apply an Ice Pack

Applying an ice pack to your cheek will help constrict the blood vessels underneath the surface of the skin. The coldness will also help numb away the pain.

If you don’t have an ice pack, you may use a bag of frozen veggies with a kitchen towel wrapped around it. NEVER apply ice directly to the skin as this can cause injury, such as frostbite.

To avoid injury, do NOT apply the ice pack to your skin for longer than 10 minutes at a time.

Request an Appointment With Us

The sooner you schedule an appointment, the sooner Dr. Habecker will be able to diagnose and treat the source of your pain. While home remedies may provide temporary relief, they don’t solve the root of the problem.

During your appointment, Dr. Habecker will thoroughly examine your teeth, gums, and other oral structures. He may also examine any dental X-rays we take during your visit. With this information, Dr. Habecker will be able to diagnose the issue and recommend an appropriate treatment plan to restore your oral health.

To request an appointment with our Holland dentist, please call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524. For non-emergencies, you may fill out our online contact form and someone from our office will reach out to you soon.

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Dear Patient Family,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care and we appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to follow orders from the Governor's Office.

We are happy to say that we are opening our office for all patient treatment on June 1st, 2020. Our hours of operation will go back to normal, Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm. We want you to know that there will be some changes at your next appointment. Please be patient with us as our protocols will inevitably change as new guidelines are released.

  • We ask that you use our parking lot as the waiting room.
  • Please wear a mask when you come into the office and leave it on until entering the treatment room. Homemade is acceptable.
  • Only the person receiving treatment should come in the building, all others will be asked to wait in the car if at all possible. The exception will be for our minor patients who may have one parent accompany them.
  • We will be asking you some questions when you arrive at the office and we will also be taking your temperature.
  • We will not be able to offer magazines, drinks, or toys at this time as they cannot be disinfected to our standards. Eventually this will change and we will be happy to offer our amenities once again.

These changes have been made to adhere to the latest CDC guidelines and for the benefit of our patients and our staff. We want you to know that our office has always taken the safety of our patients very seriously and that we will continue to follow the highest levels of sterilization and disinfection to keep you protected. If you would like more information on what measures we have taken we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

We cannot say how excited we are to see all of our patients again and to provide for their dental needs. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon!

Dr. Habecker and Team