How Heating Pads Can Help With Toothaches

Having a toothache is a less than fun experience.

Especially when you can't get in to see a dentist right away to determine what the problem is.

Then you are left for ways to try and numb the pain until you can get in to see the dentist.

A heating pad can help with the pain by first applying cold to the area to numb the pain and then immediately applying heat to increase blood flow.

Read on to find out more why a heating pad helps in this situation.

What is a toothache?

A toothache is a general pain in your mouth area.

Usually this is a shooting pain in one specific area.

Sometimes you can even pinpoint on your own which tooth is exactly causing the problem.

There are cases where it might be more than one tooth that is causing the problem, which may make it more difficult to pinpoint just one.

According to the Cleveland Clinic:

"A toothache is a pain in or around a tooth. Minor toothaches can come from a temporary gum irritation that you can treat at home. More serious toothaches are caused by dental and mouth problems that won’t get better on their own and will need to be treated by a dentist.

The pulp inside your tooth is soft material filled with nerves, tissues and blood vessels. These pulp nerves are among the most sensitive in your body. When these nerves are irritated or infected by bacteria (abscess), they can cause severe pain."

So there are minor and major reasons why you are having toothaches, and also minor and major pains that are associated with it.

It is important that you can identify which are minor pains and which are major pains.

Why my tooth might be aching

There are a few reasons why your tooth might be aching.

  1. Tooth decay  This is when your tooth has some general wear and tear in it that you might not have been expecting.  Or you just didn't take very good care of your tooth.  Tooth decay will happen if you don't brush your teeth regularly or you don't brush long enough.  The tooth will begin to decay because you haven't gotten all the sugars or whatever else might be on them.  This eventually wears down the tooth to where you are going to need a filling
  2. Abscessed tooth.  An abscessed tooth is one where there is a pocket of pus within the tooth caused by a bacterial infection.  There are two types of abscesses, one that occurs on the tip of the root (periapical) and one that occurs in the side of the gums near the root (periodontal).  These can occur because of an untreated dental cavity or injury to the tooth.
  3. Tooth fracture.  This is obviously due to the tooth getting chipped from some activity.  This could be because you are playing a sport and get hit in the mouth or you are eating something too vigorously. I recently chipped a tooth eating granola that I found a small stone in.
  4. A damaged filling.  Of course, there are so many reasons this could happen.  You would obviously have a filling because of a cavity and then that filling gets damaged.  A common way for this to happen would be to eat something too hard.  For example, you could have accidentally chewed on a popcorn kernel in the wrong spot.
  5. Repetitive motions.  Quite a few people have problems grinding their teeth at night.  This is something that can slowly wear down the tops of your teeth, which can then lead to tooth pain.  This can also happen from chewing gum or clenching your teeth.
  6. Infected gums.  This can happen because some that is caught in your gums stays there or if you aren't flossing enough.  Whenever I eat popcorn, I will typically find a popcorn kernel stuck in between my teeth or in my gums.  If one is in my gums for too long, then that could lead to infected gums.  So make sure you are flossing on a regular basis (and I don't mean the dance move)

When to see a dentist

Never let a toothache go on for too long.

If you've had the toothache for just a day, it could be because you have something caught in between your teeth or maybe there was some trauma that affected your teeth for a moment.

So you should usually give yourself day after flossing to make sure it isn't just a minimal problem.

Our son complained of a tooth ache for a day.  We later found out that he had forgotten to brush his teeth for a few days.  But when he went to his room and brushed his tooth, this particular tooth felt perfectly fine the days proceeding the ache.

If you have had a toothache for a few days, it is then a good idea to contact your dentist and set up an appointment.

Your dentist might make you wait a few days before you can get it, since they schedule themselves pretty tight.

You might have to wait until someone has a cancelation before you can get in.

So be a little patient with yourself if you can't get in right away.

But there are a few things you can do to manage the pain.

Pain Relief

While you are waiting for your dentist appointment, there are a few things you do for pain relief.

Cold compress using LavaBag's

There are a lot of reasons you might want to use a cold compress to help relieve your pain.

The first of these means you aren't putting anything inside of your body that you might not want to.

My meaning, of course, is drugs.  If you are using a cold compress, you aren't putting drugs into your body.

 Things like Ibuprofen and Tylenol won't be horrible for your body, as long as you don't take more than the recommended dosage.

But some people don't like to take these things and that is understandable.

In the meantime, you do need to reduce the inflammation of the toothache and a LavaBag cold compress is just the thing for it.

Start by putting your LavaBag in the freezer and leave it there for 2 hours.

Then pull it out of the freezer and place it on your face when the pain is occuring.

Leave it there for up to 30 minutes and then place it back in the freezer.

At this point, wait another few hours before you pull it out of the freezer and place it back on your face.

This is good as just a general rule, as putting the LavaBag, or any cold pack for that matter, on your face for more than every 2 hours could give you skin problem.

You can also put a clothe between your face and the LavaBag, which help to reduce the chances of skin issues.

Rinse with warm saltwater

Saltwater can do quite a bit for you.

First, it can act as a disinfectant.

This means that if you have any inflammation or any kind of bug going on in the area of your mouth, the saltwater will help with it.

It could also help to release any debris in your teeth.

Take 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and stir it into a glass of warm water.

Then take some of that water into your mouth and gargle it around for a few seconds in your mouth.

Then spit it out and rinse again until all the water is gone from your cup.

This should help with some of the pain.

Rinse with hydrogen peroxide

Just like rinsing with warm saltwater, the same is true for hydrogen peroxide.

Mix equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide and then rinse in your mouth, especially in the areas of your mouth with the pain.

So put some of the mixture into your mouth and rinse from side to side for a few seconds and then spit it out and continue.

Do this until the mixture is completely gone.

Make sure not to swallow the mixture.

Over the counter pain medication

Over the counter pain medication is the last line of defense against the pain.

If it is really bad and you have to wait a few days before you can see the dentist, pain medication might be the only thing you can do.

This includes aspirin and ibuprofen.

Make sure to only take the recommended dosage and this may be the best thing you can do for your pain.

Natural remedies

There are a few natural remedies that you might consider trying.

The first of these is clove oil.

You can add a drop of this to water and rinse just like you would with saltwater.

Another way to use clove oil is to add a drop to a cotton ball and then apply it directly to the pain area.

Next, you could use a piece of garlic.

Take the garlic and remove the skin from it.

Then open your mouth and rub the garlic against the gums that are hurting.

This should help to relieve some of the pain.

Lastly, peppermint tea is another great option.

Peppermint has some cooling properties, so it should help with the pain relief.

Take a warm peppermint tea bag and apply it directly to the toothache.


A toothache can be a lot of pain and it could be a few days before you can get in to see the dentist.

So some natural pain relief could be good to hold you over until the dentist is ready to see you.

A cold compress in the form of a LavaBag is a great way to reduce the pain and inflammation you might be experiencing.