Can home remedies really help treat a toothache?

Having a toothache is a big pain…literally.  The throbbing and stabbing pain can seemingly come out of nowhere, and may be caused by a variety of oral problems including a cavity, an abscessed tooth or other issues. Any time you experience mouth pain or a toothache, you should see your dentist as soon as possible.  But while you’re waiting to see your dentist, you’re probably wondering if there’s anything you can do to dull that tooth pain. There are a variety of toothache home remedies out there, and some work better that others.  Some to consider:

Over the counter pain relievers: Dentists recommend acetaminophen for children and ibuprofen or aspirin for adults suffering with dental pain. Remember to swallow you medication whole. Do not try to crush it in your mouth or hold it on your tooth. This can cause damage to the inside of your mouth.

Over the counter anesthetics: There are a variety of over-the-counter anesthetics available that contain benzocaine, which can temporarily numb your area of discomfort. Remember that these medications are not for long term use and do not heal the dental issue.

Rinses: saltwater, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide: A variety of mouth rinses can be used to ease toothache pain.  Warm saltwater rinses remove debris from the mouth, reduce swelling and promote healing.  Rinsing with alcohol like whiskey, scotch, vodka or brandy – but never for those under age 21! – can kill germs and numb the painful area around a toothache. Hydrogen peroxide is an antibacterial mouthwash that can kill germs and provide pain relief, but it should never be swallowed and is not suggested for children.  All rinses should be vigorously swished in the mouth for at least 30 seconds, then spit into a sink or basin. Never swallow mouth rinses.

Cold compress: A cold compress or ice pack can provide relief by reducing swelling and inflammation, especially if a toothache is the result of injury or swollen gums. Apply ice packs to the cheek near the affected area for a few minutes at a time, taking a break between applications.

Peppermint tea: Sipping or swishing peppermint tea can have a pain relieving effect, because of the menthol in peppermint. A slightly warm, wet tea bag can also be held on a painful tooth for pain relief.  Peppermint also has antibacterial properties.

Other natural options: There are variety of essential oil and herbal remedies available for tooth pain relief. Cloves have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.  Chewing a whole clove or placing a clove oil soaked cotton ball on a painful tooth can provide relief. Aloe vera gel has antibacterial and healing properties and can be massaged into painful areas of the mouth. Garlic cloves can be chewed to release allicin, a natural disease fighter that promotes healing.  Thyme, ginger, cayenne and myrrh all have pain relieving properties that may help with toothache relief.

While toothache home remedies may provide temporary relief, it is important make an appointment with your dentist to get to the root of your tooth pain issue. Left unchecked, toothaches can lead to gum disease, dental abscess or worse.

A trip to the dentist sparks dental anxiety in many people, but today’s dentists have tools and techniques available to ensure that you dental care is as painless as possible. If you discover that your toothache ends up being a bigger problem that requires an oral shot with the dreaded needle, your dentist can use DentalVibe to guarantee that you will not feel any discomfort during the dental injection process.

Don’t let a throbbing toothache get the best of you.  Home remedies for toothaches provide only temporary relief. Find a dentist devoted to pain free dental care, and take charge of your oral health. You’ll be smiling again in no time.

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