Right now, you probably don’t want to have to worry about going to a crowded grocery store for medicine while your tooth is in pain. Toothaches are often considered emergencies that need immediate attention, but it’s important to be able to find relief from the pain while you’re waiting to see the dentist. If you don’t want to stress about shopping for medicine in the middle of dental crisis, make sure your pantry is already stocked with these 5 handy home remedies for tooth pain.
1. Clove Oil
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones. Clove oil contains eugenol, a natural anesthetic. By applying it to a damaged or aching tooth, you can numb the nerves and temporarily stop the pain. You have to be very careful, though; use a cotton ball to make sure the oil is only placed on the tooth itself without coming into contact with the tongue or gums.
2. Salt Water
Did you know you could make an effective mouthwash with just a teaspoon of salt and a cup of boiling water? Simply swish the mixture around in your mouth for up to 30 seconds to get rid of some of the irritating debris and fluid that might be related to your toothache.
Peppermint tea can help numb your mouth somewhat, and the flavor can help you calm down (which is important in a time of crisis). Like salt water, you can swish it around in your mouth, but you can swallow it afterwards. Strong black tea has also been known to have an effect on swelling, and some people even find that placing the tea bag against the tooth can help.
An ice pack can work wonders for a painful tooth, and it can reduce swelling around the area as well. To make one, simply place an ice cube in a plastic back and wrap it in a thin cloth. Hold the pack in place for about 15 minutes at a time; the cold sensation may help cancel out the pain signals that your tooth is sending to your brain.
In some cases, you may be able to temporarily stop tooth pain with acupressure. Take one of your thumbs and press down on the point on your other hand where the thumb and index finger meet for a bout two minutes. This encourages the brain to release endorphins, helping to relieve any discomfort you might be experiencing. (Pregnant women should avoid this technique.)
In many cases, particularly if the tooth is suffering from a severe infection, the above treatments will only be temporary fixes. Don’t forget to get in touch with your dentist as soon as you can so that the underlying issue can be treated.
About the Author
Dr. Neely Davis Thornton received her Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Medical College of Georgia in 2006, graduating in the top 10% of her class. She chose dentistry so that she could help people be more proactive in preventing cavities and gum disease. Right now, her Marietta practice, Thornton Dental Wellness, is open to patients suffering from severe toothaches and other dental emergencies. To schedule an appointment, visit her website or call (770) 422-7727.