Toothache and Gum Problems
To reduce pain and swelling of a toothache, use an Reference ice pack on the outside of your cheek; do not use heat. Avoid very hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks if they increase your pain.
To reduce sensitivity to heat, cold, or brushing, consider using a toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. Brush with it regularly or rub a small amount of the paste on the sensitive area with your finger a 2 to 3 times a day. Floss gently between your teeth.
|Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:|
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
|Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:|
If your gums are mildly swollen and red, use a tartar-control toothpaste that contains fluoride and an antiseptic mouthwash, such as Listerine, or a mouthwash that contains fluoride. Make sure you brush after meals and snacks and floss every day. If you cannot brush after eating, chew sugar-free gum, use a tooth pick, or rinse your mouth with warm salt water. You can make your own salt water by mixing 1 tsp (5 g) of salt in a medium-sized glass [8 fl oz (240 mL)] of warm water.
Reference Tobacco can cause many gum problems, decreases your ability to fight infection of your gums, and delays healing. Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. For more information, see the topic Reference Quitting Smoking.
Do not use illegal drugs, such as methamphetamines, which cause tooth and gum problems.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Reference Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
- Reference Signs of infection Opens New Window develop.
- Gum or tooth problems last for more than 2 weeks.
- Symptoms persist or become more severe or frequent.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 24, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine