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Toothaches can have many causes, which dictate what type of action is needed for relief. When you start to get a toothache, rinse your mouth to clear it of foreign debris. If the ache persists, consult your dentist. Don’t treat toothaches by dissolving aspirin on the point of pain- this can harm your gum tissue and will not address the root problem.

Broken, Fractured, or Displaced Tooth

When a tooth is broken, fractured, or displaced, it must be treated quickly. If it has been knocked out, rinse your mouth of blood and other debris. Place a cold compress on the cheek near the injured socket. This will keep the swelling down. Try to place the tooth back in its socket until you can see your dentist. If you cannot replace the tooth, hold it by its crown (not the root) and place it in a container of warm milk or your own saliva until you get to the emergency room or dental office.

For a fractured tooth, it is best to rinse with warm water and again, apply a cold pack or compress. You can take ibuprofen to reduce swelling. Minor fractures can be sanded or restored if the pulp is not severely damaged.

If a child’s primary (baby) tooth has been loosened by an injury or an emerging permanent tooth, have the child gently bite an apple or caramel. This may help separate the tooth from the gum.