Tooth Infection

Toothaches and dental pain can be an extremely uncomfortable experience. If you have a tooth infection, you want relief fast. Our goal is to help patients as soon as possible to alleviate their discomfort and address their dental concerns. The first thing we want you to do is call our Seattle dentist office to arrange an emergency dental appointment.

Dr. Timmerman leaves appointment openings available throughout the day for this specific reason! If it’s after hours, we invite you to call our office and leave a message, which will then quickly be returned by one of our expertly trained staff members.

"Tooth infections are quite serious. Not only very painful, but also can result in other complications. Please look at the instructions below for temporary relief and contact my office right away if you have a dental emergency."
—Dr. Lance Timmerman

Steps at home to temporarily alleviate pain before you make it to our office:

Take ibuprofen

Most discomfort is caused by inflammation. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication that is perfect for patients with a tooth infection. Always follow dosage instructions and contact your doctor if you are restricted from taking ibuprofen. Please do not rely simply on ibuprofen if your pain goes away and doesn’t return. The reason there was pain in the first place is due to some type of damage to your teeth. Don’t wait for another toothache to arise before you wait to call us. The earlier your tooth can be treated, the less invasive and more affordable your care will be. If your infection was caused by an injured tooth, contact us right away.

Rinse with warm salt water

Warm salt-water rinses are another way to help alleviate inflammation of the tissues inside of your mouth. Rinsing will also helps cleanse areas where food or bacteria are building up, such as around infected wisdom teeth. Some areas such as those with active gum disease, food impaction, or erupting wisdom teeth are the ones most commonly affected by swelling. When rinsing with warm salt water, the salt helps draw the inflammation out of the soft tissue, thereby making you more comfortable.

Alternate a warm and cold compress

Alternate a warm and cold compress against the side of your face every 5-10 minutes. This will help control inflammation and discomfort until you can make it to our office. Because inflammation is such a common cause of discomfort, applying the compresses to the face can keep inflammation as minimal as possible. We typically recommend this method following treatments such as oral surgery or wisdom tooth removal during the first 12 hours following your treatment.