Dr. Silberman often gets asked the question: “Do I apply heat or cold to a toothache?” Watch our one-minute video to discover the answer:

Should you apply heat or cold to a toothache?

ALMOST NEVER APPLY HEAT to your face when experiencing a toothache. If you have an infection the heat may draw that infection out causing more swelling. Apply COLD! If you are experiencing a severe toothache the best thing is ice water in the mouth. You may have gasses trapped in your tooth. If you keep ice cold water in your mouth, the gasses will contract and pain either lessens or ceases.

“Inflammation is the body’s natural response to any infection. Heat increases inflammation. Ice helps to relieve inflammation.” —Dr. Paul Silberman, Dentist in Waldorf

What to do if you have tooth pain

  • Get to your dentist as soon as possible.
  • Putting it off will make it worse.
  • Even if the pain eases, the underlying cause for the pain is still present and you will wind up experiencing pain again.

There are many reasons you may have a toothache. It can occur even if you have seen a dentist regularly. If you have a toothache and have not seen a dentist for a long time, do not be intimidated. Just go to a dentist as soon as possible if experiencing pain. Never worry about telling a dentist that you have not seen anyone for dental treatment for a long time. Your dental office must be a judgment-free zone. What is important is how you can start to achieve dental health now, not what you did or did not do in the past.

Are you experiencing tooth pain right now?

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2014 and has been revamped for comprehensiveness and timeliness.