Fewer things are more concerning than a toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night. While we know you endeavour to keep your teeth in tip-top shape, emergencies can happen regardless. And when they occur in the middle of the night, you may feel a bit stuck over what can be done to alleviate the discomfort.
Firstly, don’t panic! At Studental, our NHS dentist in Oxford, we can help! We know how uncomfortable a dental emergency can be and when you call us for an emergency appointment, our team will aim to get you into our surgery and out of discomfort on the same day!
But, if your emergency happens in the middle of the night and there are a few hours until morning, what do you do? Read on to find out the 5 things that our NHS dentist in Oxford recommends you do to handle that toothache
Examine the area
While our NHS dentist in Oxford understands that you will probably be in discomfort, it is worth attempting this step to enable you to temporarily treat your toothache yourself.
Gently open your mouth and explore the area that is causing you the discomfort; if it is swollen and blue, it is likely that you have an abscess forming. If your tooth suddenly feels sharp and you can feel a large hole, you have probably lost a filling or a crown. If you can’t identify the source of the problem, don’t worry! The following steps should help you to reduce your discomfort regardless of the issue.
A readily available antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, salt-water is a fantastic way to help reduce inflammation and keep the area clean.
Make sure that the water itself is luke-warm, as if it is too hot or cold, you may cause further discomfort to your teeth. Gargle for about 30 seconds and spit, repeating every hour. If you have an anti-inflammatory mouthwash to hand, gargle this too, but follow the instructions on the label.
Once again, make sure any water you use for this step is luke-warm.
This step will ensure that the affected area is free from debris, which could exacerbate the underlying issue if left in place. Do not attempt to brush the affected area with a toothbrush, as depending on the issue, this could cause you a great deal of discomfort and make those next few hours very difficult!
Of course, if you have pain relief to hand, take it.
If you suspect an abscess, take an anti-inflammatory painkiller, to help reduce the swelling but any painkiller will alleviate the discomfort. Although it has long been recommended as a cure for toothache, do not drink alcohol!
Leave it alone!
Do not poke, touch or irritate the affected area with your fingers, a brush or floss.
Doing so may unknowingly cause the inflammation to worsen and make it more uncomfortable; rest assured that our dental team will handle it properly!