How to Decrease the Swelling From a Toothache

Written by christina schnell
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How to Decrease the Swelling From a Toothache
Use several treatments to reduce swelling. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A toothache that causes swelling is probably more than just a minor toothache. Toothaches often begin as untreated decay, but bacteria from the decay seeps into the nerve centre of your tooth, causing infection and a small protruding abscess. Swelling is your body's natural attempt to heal an injured tooth with an infusion of blood cells. With swelling comes radiating pain, swelling and extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods. Home remedies may ease discomfort in the short term, but visible swelling is a sign of an advanced-stage infection and must be treated promptly by a dentist to avoid tooth extraction.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Cold pack
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Antibiotics

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Apply a cold compress to your jaw where the pain is most severe. The cold will temporarily reduce blood flow to your toothache, thereby decreasing the swelling. Apply a cold compress several times a day until the pain subsides. Let your skin warm up again before applying another compress.

  2. 2

    Take pain relievers. The anti-inflammatory ingredients in pain relievers will temporarily reduce the swelling and pain. Do not place any pain pills in direct contact with your infected tooth. however. The acid in the medication can cause mouth ulcers around the abscess or swollen tissue.

  3. 3

    Rinse your mouth with warm salt water and baking soda. Mix 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of baking soda in 1 cup warm water. Rinsing with this mixture decreases the surface bacteria in your mouth. Reducing the irritating bacteria may reduce the swelling and pain.

  4. 4

    Take antibiotics as prescribed by your dentist. Since swelling indicates bacterial infection, antibiotics are one of the few ways to effectively reduce the swelling by healing the infected tissue.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid any foods that cause pain, such as hot or cold items.
  • Seek dental treatment if your pain lasts longer than two days.

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