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A toothache is not reason enough to run out and find a dentist immediately, as not all are caused by cavities. Even those that are may not be dealt with by a professional for some time, depending on both your and your dentist's schedules. Fortunately, there are a number of tricks to ease your toothache in the meantime.
Some toothaches are caused by small bits of food being lodged uncomfortably between your teeth or in your gum line. In these cases, rinsing vigorously with warm (as in body temperature) water or flossing can relieve the ache almost immediately.
In more persistent cases, rinsing with whisky or warm, salt water will often ease the pain. You might also try massaging your gums around the aching tooth with either your fingers or with an ice cube. Aspirin and other over-the-counter pain relief medication can also help ease many toothaches.
Do not, however, apply heat to the tooth's area, because, in the event that the ache is due to an infection, you could actually make the infection worse.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|