Pain of any kind is unpleasant, to say the least, but there is something particularly excruciating about pain in your mouth. Every time you talk, eat, drink, or swallow, you’re likely to be reminded of your mouth pain.
You shouldn’t have to live with mouth pain, and it’s important that you take steps quickly to try to reduce the pain and fix whatever is going wrong inside your mouth.
Here are some tips that can help you do just that.
Identify the source of the pain.
It’s important to identify what kind of pain you’re dealing with. Is it a specific tooth, or maybe your gum line? Are your teeth sensitive to hot or cold? Is the pain in your jaw?
There are many different reasons why you could be experiencing mouth pain, including:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Canker sores
- Dental abscess
- Sinus infection
- Dry mouth
Being able to identify where your pain is coming from, what kind of pain it is (dull, throbbing, sharp, etc.), and what actions make the pain worse (eating/drinking, swallowing, etc.) will help you and your dentist identify the cause of your mouth pain, which will help when it comes time to treat the problem.
Rinse with salt water.
Sometimes, simple remedies are the best remedies. Dissolve a small amount of salt (about ¼-½ teaspoon) in half a cup of warm water. Swish the solution around in your mouth for about 30 seconds, and then spit it out.
Salt water acts as a disinfectant, so it can be surprisingly effective when treating tooth or mouth pain, particularly if you suspect you have a canker sore.
Or, try hydrogen peroxide.
Similar to salt water, hydrogen peroxide can help relieve mouth pain, especially if caused by some sort of bacteria. Dilute 3% hydrogen peroxide with water in a 1:1 ration (equal amounts hydrogen peroxide and water), and rinse out your mouth with it. Make sure not to swallow!
Take over-the-counter medication.
Basic pain medication, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help reduce pain and inflammation in the mouth, easing the pain of toothaches and more.
Apply a cold compress.
Place a cold compress or ice pack on the offending area. This causes the blood vessels in the area to constrict, which results in you feeling less pain.
Avoid food or drink that irritates your mouth.
Spicy, acidic, or salty foods can make mouth pain worse. Additionally, your painful tooth may be sensitive to hot or cold foods, or to sweets. While you’re waiting to find and treat the source of your tooth pain, avoid these aggravating foods in order to keep the pain in check.
Continue to care for your teeth, gums, and mouth.
If you’re experiencing mouth pain, it might be tempting to avoid the area altogether in order to prevent even more pain. However, you should continue brushing and flossing your teeth—gently, if needed—at least twice a day, every day. Practice other good oral hygiene habits as well, such as not smoking.
Talk to your dentist.
If your mouth pain is persistent or severe, it’s time to talk to your dentist. He or she can better determine the underlying cause of your mouth pain and help you find a long term solution.
Mouth pain can make you miserable, but you don’t have to suffer through it. Try one of these tips to temporarily reduce your pain, and talk to your dentist to get rid of it for good. Comfort is within reach.