Nothing can ruin a good game quite like a throbbing toothache. Of course, athletes like you could just tough it out and play through the pain, but that’s not really an ideal solution. Not only will the pain affect your performance, but it could also permanently damage your teeth if you’re not careful.
So, what can you do when toothache affects your games? Here are five solutions to help you without sacrificing your oral health.
1. Rinse with Warm Salt Water
One of the simplest and most effective ways to soothe a toothache is to rinse your mouth with warm salt water. This will help to reduce inflammation and ease the pain. This is because salt is a natural disinfectant that can kill bacteria and reduce swelling.
To make a saltwater rinse, mix together 1 teaspoon of salt with about 8 ounces of warm water. Keep the mixture in your mouth for 30 seconds, swish it back and forth to cover all surfaces, then spit it out. Repeat this process as often as necessary to relieve your pain.
This might seem like a temporary solution, but it can actually help to speed up the healing process by reducing inflammation and killing bacteria.
2. Take Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
If rinsing with salt water doesn’t do the trick, you can try taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Just be sure to follow the directions on the packaging and don’t take more than the recommended dosage.
These pain relievers also work by reducing inflammation and numbing the pain. Specifically, ibuprofen targets swelling, while acetaminophen works by blocking pain signals from the brain. Additionally, you can try applying a topical numbing agent like lidocaine to the affected area. This can be found in most pharmacies and drugstores.
Most toothaches go away on their own within a few days, and pain relievers can get you through those grueling hours. However, if your pain persists for more than a week or gets worse over time, it’s essential to see a dentist as soon as possible.
3. Apply a Cold Compress
Applying a cold compress to your cheek can also help to ease toothache pain. This is because cold constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling. The cold will also numb the area and provide temporary relief from the pain.
You can make a cold compress by wrapping a cold pack, ice cube, or frozen vegetables in a towel and placing it on your cheek. Hold it in place for 10-15 minutes at a time or for as long as you need to relieve the pain. You can repeat this process as necessary throughout the day to ease your pain.
Alternatively, you can chew on ice chips or a popsicle to numb the pain. Just be sure not to chew too hard or for too long, as this could damage your teeth.
4. Try Natural Remedies
There are also a number of natural remedies that can help to ease toothache pain. Some popular options include cloves, peppermint oil, and black tea bags. Just be sure to research and consult your dentist before trying any new remedy.
These remedies all have one thing in common. They work by numbing the pain and reducing inflammation. Cloves, for instance, contain eugenol. This is a natural anesthetic that can numb the pain. Peppermint oil also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. And black tea bags provide tannins that are also known to reduce inflammation and soothe pain.
Even a simple cup of black coffee can work in a pinch if you can’t find any of these. Just be sure to let it cool down first, so you don’t damage your teeth. Caffeine is also widely known for its pain-numbing properties.
5. Consider Tooth Replacement
If home remedies aren’t doing the trick, it’s essential to see your dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to provide relief from the pain during your appointment. In some cases, they may even be able to diagnose the underlying cause of your toothache and recommend the appropriate treatment.
If nothing else works, considering tooth replacement might be your best option. This is a big decision, but if you’re in pain and nothing else is helping, it might be worth thinking about. If this is a recurring problem, the onsets of pain could affect your athletic career in the long run.
There are a number of different dental implant options available, so be sure to consult with your dentist to find the best one for you.
Toothache can put a damper on even the best of games, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through the pain. You can do several things to ease the discomfort and get back into the game without sacrificing your oral health. So, give one of these solutions a try next time you’re dealing with a toothache!