This article was originally published by crest.com

“What Does Cavity Pain Feel Like?

It could happen to anyone—you are away on vacation or a business trip and notice that familiar ache in your mouth that you’re fairly certain is caused by cavity pain. Tooth decay can hit anytime, and not only does it cause pain, but it can lead to infection and tooth loss.

With your dentist hundreds of miles away and your trip wrapping up, you need a quick fix to help you control your cavity pain until you can make it home. Consider these tips to help you manage that frustrating cavity pain.

Tips for Managing Tooth Cavity Pain

  • Avoid sugary foods and extremely hot or cold foods and beverages that can aggravate cavity pain.
  • Brush your teeth carefully: While it may cause more pain at first, it’s important to keep food particles out of your teeth as they could cause further damage.
  • Eat soft foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, cold soups, salsa and other things that don’t require much chewing to prevent pain.
  • Use an oral rinse after eating to help remove food particles. Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash will not only remove food and freshen your breath, but it can help strengthen teeth by rebuilding enamel.
  • Call your dentist: Even while you’re away, your dentist may recommend you take a simple over-the-counter pain-relieving agent to help manage the cavity pain until you get home. Plus, if you call while you’re away, you can make an appointment to see the dentist as soon as you return home.

Cavity Pain Relief

If you have cavity symptoms, you may have pain in your teeth or in your gums. Cavity pain relief depends on the extent of your tooth decay. Regardless if your cavity symptoms are mild or severe, you should visit your dentist as you may need a filling. Dental fillings are among the most common ways to relieve cavity pain. Here’s a basic overview of cavity pain relief with a dental filling:

  • Numbness: The first thing the dentist will do is numb the area of the cavity.
  • Cleaning: Once the area is numb, the dentist removes the decayed part of the tooth.
  • Filling: The final step in cavity pain relief—the dentist places a filling made from the material of your choice.

Home Remedies for Cavity Pain

Although anyone can develop tooth decay, you can help prevent cavities by following several simple steps:

  • Brush and floss: Studies show that consistent, daily toothbrushing and flossing can help prevent cavities. Find a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss that you like, so you’ll be more likely to stick to an oral care routine.
  • Use a Fluoride Product: Your dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment to help prevent cavities. Or you can use a mouth rinse that contains fluoride as part of your oral care routine. See Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash.
  • Snack smart: Each time you eat, you provide an opportunity for plaque to damage your tooth enamel. To help prevent cavities, keep snacks to a minimum and avoid sipping sodas or other sticky drinks constantly throughout the day.
  • Explore sealants: Some dentists recommend dental sealants to help prevent cavities in children or adults who are at increased risk. A dental sealant is a plastic coating that the dentist paints onto the teeth, where they can last for as long as 10 years.

How to Prevent Cavity Pain

The best strategy for preventing tooth decay pain, is preventing tooth decay from happening in the first place.Here are some important ways to keep tooth decay away:

  • Visit a Professional: You should see your dentist at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and dental exam. Your dentist should tell you if you have significant tooth decay and can give you tips to help reduce this tooth decay and prevent it in the future.
  • Brush Often: While we often hear we should brush twice a day, your best bet in preventing tooth decay is to brush after every time you eat. The Oral-B CrossAction Pro-Health Brush Heads combines multiple types of bristles for excellent plaque removal to help prevent tooth decay.
  • Floss Regularly: Flossing prevents tooth decay by removing food particles and plaque build-up. It’s an important part of your oral hygiene regimen and should be done at least once a day.
  • Use Mouthwash: After brushing, mouthwash provides another level of cleaning and can help prevent plaque build-up and tooth decay. Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash protects and strengthens your teeth to help prevent tooth decay.
  • Avoid Sugary Drinks and Foods: Just like you’ve heard since you were a kid, consuming too much sugar can lead to cavities, and poor oral hygiene. Snacking on vegetables is a much better alternative and can also help naturally scrub your teeth for a healthier mouth and body.
  • Use Toothpaste: Crest Pro-Health Sensitive + Enamel Shield Toothpaste contains a clinically proven active ingredient that helps re-mineralize the teeth to fight cavities. All Crest Pro-Health toothpastes are triclosan-free.”

Check out Dr. Weisbard’s tooth-colored fillings!