Will rinsing with salt water help a toothache?

A toothache has the power to quickly ruin your day. The pain can be debilitating and can make it difficult to focus on anything else. You want relief – fast.

Many patients wonder if a home remedy such as rinsing with salt water will help until they can get to the dentist. The answer depends on the cause of your toothache.

Toothache Cause: Cavities

The most common cause of a toothache is a cavity or decay. Many cavities are too small to see, so you may not know you have one – until your dentist spots it during an exam or on an x-ray. Unfortunately, a toothache is often your first symptom of decay if it’s been a while since you visited your dentist.

A salt water rinse may alleviate some of the discomfort, but it won’t solve the problem. Call your dentist ASAP if you have a toothache so your teeth can be carefully examined and the decay can be corrected quickly.

Toothache Cause: Broken Teeth or Trauma to a Tooth

In some cases, you may know for certain what caused your toothache. Perhaps you hit your tooth on an object and it cracked or broke. Or, you may have injured your tooth but can’t see an obvious crack, which means there could be damage to the nerve that you can’t see. People who grind their teeth often don’t know they’re doing it – until they crack or break a tooth.

Whatever the cause of the trauma, you’ll need prompt dental care to get the tooth repaired and to stop the pain. A broken or injured tooth is not only painful, but can leave you susceptible to an infection. Be sure you call your dentist right away if you’ve injured your tooth. In many cases, doing a salt water rinse, along with pain relievers, can help you get by until your appointment.

Toothache Cause: Infection

An infected tooth, also known as an abscessed tooth, can be extremely painful. It occurs when bacteria get inside the tooth, often as a result of a damaged nerve. An infected tooth is serious because it can damage surrounding bone and teeth if it spreads. You can also get an abscess in the gums as a result of gum disease or food getting trapped between the tooth and gum.

A salt water rinse is a safe way to cleanse your mouth and relieve some of the pain of an abscess before your dentist appointment. Call your dentist immediately if you see signs of an abscess, such as a red, swollen area that may have pus inside. If an abscess is suspected, you’ll need prompt dental care.

How to Rinse with Salt Water

A salt water rinse is easy and effective for temporary relief before you see your dentist. Add one teaspoon of salt to 8 oz. of warm water and stir. Gargle with the mixture for 30 seconds, and repeat several times a day as needed.

Preventing Toothaches

Preventing a toothache is certainly more pleasant than trying to treat the pain. See your dentist every six months, and discuss any dental health concerns you have. Proper care for cavities, wearing a bite splint for grinding, and addressing gum problems are just a few of the ways your dentist will help you keep your mouth healthy and help you prevent tooth problems and pain.

Do you have a toothache, or do you just need a dental checkup? Contact the expert team at Craig Armstrong, DDS, to schedule your appointment!

Insurances We Accept

Dentists at Armstrong-Katzmark DDS believe that everyone has a right to affordable, high-quality dental care near Houston, TX. For that reason, our professional team is committed to caring for our patients with respect and compassion. So, count on us for comprehensive treatments that address both your minor and significant oral health needs. What’s more, we do so by keeping dental payments budget-friendly and straightforward.

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What’s causing my teeth to break?

You may already know that proper dental care, including daily brushing and flossing, is essential to keeping your teeth strong and healthy. So it’s understandably confusing and alarming to someone whose teeth seem to break or chip easily. What could be causing this?

Bad Bite

Your teeth were designed to come together in a specific way to protect them while allowing you to bite and chew food. Even when your mouth is at rest, the teeth should comfortably sit together without pressure or damage. In general, your upper teeth should sit slightly over the lower teeth, and the grooves in your molars should fit together similar to a puzzle.

But if your teeth don’t line up properly, you could have a bad bite, also known as malocclusion. This can cause the teeth to hit each other too hard and in the wrong places, leading to broken or chipped teeth.

Malocclusion can be caused by several factors, so you’ll need to see your dentist to identify the problem. Injury or misalignment of the jaw, poorly fitting fillings or crowns, problems with dental appliances or braces, or abnormally shaped teeth are some of the possible culprits.

Chomping Hard Foods

Your teeth are designed to be strong enough to handle crunchy foods. If you take good care of them, they should withstand normal wear and tear without problems. But even the healthiest teeth can get cracked or broken when you’re chewing on hard foods or objects.

Ice cubes and popcorn kernels are top offenders for breaking teeth. Never chew ice, and be careful when eating popcorn: watch for unpopped pieces before you eat. In addition, don’t chew on pens or other objects, and never use your teeth as “tools,” for opening packages or similar jobs.

Tooth Grinding

Grinding the teeth, or bruxism, is a common problem that many people don’t realize they’re doing – until they come to the dentist with a chipped or broken tooth. Grinding puts immense force on the teeth and will wear them down over time.

Your dentist may be able to see signs of grinding in your mouth and can fit you with a protective guard to wear at night if needed. This is another reason to go to your regular checkups!

Decay and Old Fillings

Cavities can weaken teeth over time, leading to cracks and breaks. And fillings don’t last forever; those that are more than a few years old should be checked by your dentist as they can cause teeth to weaken and break.

The good news is, all of these issues can be prevented and/or corrected in our dental office. If you’re seeing your dentist every six months as recommended, these problems can be identified earlier, before more damage occurs. And if you’re unhappy with your smile due to broken, chipped, or missing teeth, solutions like porcelain veneers, crowns, dental implants, and other restorative services can give you a beautiful smile again.

Are your teeth breaking? Don’t wait for the problem to get worse! Call the office of Craig Armstrong, DDS, to schedule your appointment and learn how you can get a healthy smile again!

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/restorations/whats-causing-my-teeth-to-break/

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