Toothache – the very word sends chills down the spine of those who have suffered from it. It is the commonest ailment and one that is inevitable.
Without a doubt, everyone would suffer from it sooner or later in life. Most would do so several times as one tooth after another surrender to carries. By age 50, an average adult has had a cavity in several teeth.
A cavity is caused by strep mutans bacteria, which literally eats through the enamel and dentin to reach the pulp. There are nerve endings in the pulp, and bacterial infection causes sharp pain.
X-rays show a clear hole through which the bacteria has tunneled. Hence the name.
The only one who can stop a toothache is a dentist. But how to control the pain till your appointment? We share some easy tips that would alleviate your discomfort.
This is a favorite of dental care professionals. Saltwater is a natural disinfectant and can suppress the growth of bacteria.
Ideally, it has to be tepid warm at about 70° C temperature. Mix a teaspoon full of salt in a glass of warm water. Stir with a spoon and use it to rinse your mouth thoroughly. Make sure that the water covers the entire insides of your mouth. Bacteria survive in an acidic environment. Saltwater temporarily turns the mouth alkaline and helps with the problem.
It is common to apply a frozen pack of peas to your bruises. The same applies to toothache. But not peas, of course! Ice is enough.
Ice tends to lower the tissue temperature and reduce blood flow. This astringent property tends to reduce inflammation and reduce swelling. As blood flow slows down, the pain slowly subsides.
Place a few cubes of ice in a plastic bag and hold it against your cheeks. Be careful that you don’t end up with frostbite. Remove the ice pack if you feel your face going numb or get a headache from the cold pack.
Many would swear that this is the proverbial magic bullet. In Indian traditional medicine, clove oil, extracted from the dried flower buds, has been used for toothache treatment for centuries.
You can buy clove oil extracts in any pharmacy as an over-the-counter product. The potion comes with a dropper, or you could use an ear cleaning bud.
Apply a drop of it on the bud and place it on the affected area. Of course, you have to guide your hand using a mirror or have someone else apply it.
Clove oil is rather pungent, and if you want, dilute with a couple of drops of olive oil you use for cooking.
It is a rather smelly remedy but works well.
Take a small onion, skin it, and chop off the ends. Now cut into quarters and place one of these on the affected area. Compress slowly with your jaw. Let the juice saturate the area.
Freshly cut raw onion is not bad tasting, but it gets stale after a while. If you wish, spit out the first quarter and use another.
You could also lightly chew the onion and let the antibacterial in it work to make the pain go away.
If you do not mind the bad breath, you could use garlic cloves to get rid of toothache.
Skin a couple of cloves of garlic. Lightly chew them. The juice would nauseate most but is quite good for relieving pain.
Otherwise, you could boil several cloves in two cups of water. Let the elixir cool a bit, and rinse your mouth using it.
If you are disgusted by the thought of onions and garlic, this one’s for you. Sliced cucumber can also provide you relief. It is not as reliable as an onion but would suffice for overnight treatment.
Chop a cucumber, rinse in water, and put into the freezer to cool. When it is quite cold but not frozen, place on the affected tooth and wait for the throbbing to subside. It works in the same way as an ice pack by constricting blood flow.
Teabags are wonderful for relieving tooth pain immediately. The tannic acid present in tea is effective at controlling bacterial infections.
Place a teabag in warm water till it turns plump with absorbed moisture. Place it carefully on the affected area and let it remain there for several minutes. Ensure that you don’t burn your mouth by touching the teabag lightly on the inside of your mouth before inserting it fully. The relief is very quick.
One of the best natural painkillers, peppermint, is ideal for toothache. It is without the messy smelliness of onion and equally effective.
Mint candy is, however, not going to get the job done. It would help if you had fresh mint oil extract. Put a few drops on a cotton swab and firmly press to the afflicted area. You would find the pain subsides inside an hour. Another option is to apply a couple of mint leaves to the tooth for half an hour.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate has the same effect as salt. It is also available readily in the kitchen.
Make a paste of baking soda with four spoons of powder and a few drops of water. Carefully apply it like putty to the diseased tooth. Let it stay for an hour. after some time, the paste would dissolve in your mouth. It is not harmful and, in fact, would help by reducing stomach acid content.
If you have a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution at home, consider yourself lucky.
It is excellent for reducing infection. Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant and kills bacteria.
Be careful that you use the solution only for rising and do not swallow it. H2O2 is excellent as a temporary measure for a day or two till you can see a dentist.
Toothache can be terrible. When a throbbing nerve makes one reel on the floor at 2 A.M., use these stopgap measures before the dentist can provide antibiotics and prescribe a course of action.Back to Blog
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