Can Flossing Help a Toothache?

Flossing may help a toothache, but it won’t cure it. Sometimes, a toothache is the result of food debris lodged in the tooth, which exacerbates the pain of cavities or worsens gingivitis. If this is your case, cleaning your mouth thoroughly can make the pain go away.

When you floss to clean your mouth, use the floss to slide it back and forth across your tooth. In this way, it picks up any particles that have stuck there. But before you floss, make sure that you have brushed the area.

If your toothache is caused by gingivitis, brushing and flossing may ease the pain. You should brush your teeth for a few minutes. Make sure that you touch the painful area. Keep brushing the area until you’ll no longer feel as sensitive.

Then, use a mouth rinse to further dislodge particles.

Keep following this routine every day until the pain subsides.

Early sign of tooth decay

If your toothache is persistent, you should make a schedule to your dentist as soon as possible. You should also see your dentist if the pain is accompanied by a fever, trouble breathing or swallowing.

Salt water solution

In addition to flossing, warm salt water solution can soothe a toothache. It’s one of the highly recommended ways to help a pain in your mouth. To prepare this solution, you’ll need a ½ teaspoon of salt and add it to eight ounces of warm water.

Then, swish it around your mouth. The solution will draw fluid from tissues where the tooth aches. It reduces pressure on your nerve endings, as well.

Some of our patients ask us if eating salty chips can offer the same solution. Sadly, they won’t have the same effect.

How about aspirin?

Aspirin may help a toothache. But you should swallow it, instead of placing it on the affected tooth. That’s because this medicine is acidic, which may cause your gums to burn. Some of our patients tried this only to harm their soft tissue. Never do it.

Applying cold compress

After you’ve flossed, your toothache may have already subsided a little. You may opt to take an anti-inflammatory medicine. If you have a clove oil at home, it could also work as a topical analgesic, rather than applying aspirin onto the affected area. Apply the oil onto the area.

Then, don’t forget to apply a cold compress to your outside cheek, which is close to the painful area. But never apply ice directly to the area. It can cause more harm than good.

You may also practice mind and body relaxation to alleviate tooth pain. You can practice deep breathing while listening to a soothing music. It’ll help divert your attention from the pain.

When to see your dentist

As mentioned earlier, if all else fails, the toothache may be caused by a tooth decay or a major type of infection in your mouth. If this is your case, the pain won’t go away on its own. You should see your dentist right away.

If the infection is serious, toothache is accompanied by fever and chills. When the pain gets worse after eating, then it must be a cavity that has been aggravated.

Your dentist will examine your mouth and find the cause of the pain. If it’s caused by a cavity, your dentist may suggest putting in a filling. However, it is only done when the pain subsides. He/she will recommend analgesic and proper hygiene to help relieve the pain so you can undergo dental filling later.

In some cases, if the affected tooth is beyond repair, it might be best to take it out or you may undergo a root canal.

Preventing toothache

Flossing every day can help a toothache. It can also prevent it from happening. The idea of flossing is to reduce your risk of experiencing tooth decay. It also lowers your risk of gum disease as it prevents plaque buildup.

Brushing alone can’t address plaque problem thoroughly. The reason for this is that it can reach those areas between your teeth.

Some of our patients complained of a toothache after flossing. It’s actually a common problem. But, just because your tooth aches after flossing doesn’t mean that you must stop doing it. If you fail to continue flossing as part of your dental hygiene could make the matter worse.

One of the reasons patients experiences a toothache after flossing is improper technique. Some of our patients who are still new to flossing prod their gums with the floss. As a result, it irritates their gums causing damage. Over time, this can cause damage and pain each time you floss and brush your tooth.

If that’s your case, it might be time for you to opt for a water pik or a dental water jet. This can be a great replacement for a traditional dental floss. It can also remove food debris and buildup between your teeth. It uses streams of water that may not cause injury to your gums.

When you floss correctly, it can relieve a toothache and prevent it from happening. Flossing more efficiently will lead to a better oral health. Because cavities usually start between two teeth, you can prevent cavities by daily flossing. If you don’t like using traditional dental floss, you may opt for an oral irrigator. Ask your dentist about how to use it.

As always, you should consult your dentist if you’re having a toothache, whether it goes away or not. To make a consultation with an expert in a toothache, visit Michael Mabry DDS MAGD today.