There is no single best treatment for a toothache, but cleaning the mouth, applying a cool compress and taking over-the-counter pain medication may ease the pain, according to WebMD. It is also important that a person see a dentist if a toothache lasts for more than a couple of days.
Since a toothache can be caused by food or debris in the teeth, cleaning the mouth with warm water or flossing may easily treat the pain, explains WebMD. If this isn't the case, over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help. A person may also find relief with a cool compress on the cheek or outside of the mouth.
When visiting a dentist for a toothache, the patient typically receives a thorough exam of the mouth, which may include an X-ray, states WebMD. The dentist also looks for signs of infection, and if found, may prescribe an antibiotic. The treatment at this point depends on the cause of the toothache. For instance, if the toothache is caused by decay, a filling typically stops the pain. If the nerve of the tooth is infected, a root canal may be performed to stop the pain and save the tooth. The final option is usually an extraction, which may be done if the tooth cannot be saved or if other treatment options are not possible.
If tooth pain is caused by temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, a dentist may opt to treat it with a mouth guard, stress reduction practices or surgical intervention.