Home remedies for relief of toothache
What do you do when you get a toothache and your dental appointment is a long while off? You can opt to use painkillers, or you can use different home remedies to alleviate the pain. Sometimes painkillers on their own do not relieve the pain and you need to use home remedies as well, or perhaps you need to avoid painkillers for health reasons. In either case, knowing which home remedies are effective in relieving your toothache is essential in the home care of your dental problem before you are able to get dental treatment.
A general word of advice regarding home remedies
While home remedies generally do not have side effects, you should still be careful about using them properly. There are so many different types of home remedies and so many different causes of dental pain that each remedy may not be effective for every type of toothache. The same remedy may have a different level of efficacy for different people, depending on their specific cause for their toothache. You should consult your dentist regarding the use of home remedies, especially if you are using them in the long term.
Home remedies you can use for toothache
- Applying cold to the area of the toothache: You can apply cold to the area of the toothache in the form of a cold pack held on the cheek at the area of the toothache, or you can place an ice cube or ice chips in your mouth next to the tooth that hurts. You can also apply cold in the form of eating an ice cream, though it is recommended that you eat only plain ice cream for this purpose and avoid mix-ins and ice cream cones. Application of cold externally helps relieve the pain of dental decay and inflammation. Make sure to apply external cold for up to 15 minutes at one time. Application of cold inside the mouth helps relieve pain by numbing the dental nerve supply and thereby providing quick pain relief, though it does not last very long.
- Using clove oil on the area of the toothache: Clove oil is a widely popular and very effective home remedy for toothache. It acts as a painkiller as well as having antibacterial properties and a soothing effect. You may apply clove oil directly to the tooth that hurts. Alternatively, you may soak a cotton ball in clove oil and apply it to the painful tooth, or bite it between the teeth. If the tooth is significantly decayed or fractured, you may place the clove oil precisely in the area of the damage or decay. Clove oil is effective for up to an hour and may be reapplied up to two to three times a day. It is advisable to mix two to three drops of clove oil with ¼ teaspoon olive oil before soaking a cotton ball with it. Dried cloves are an alternative way of getting the effect of clove oil. You may chew a dried clove, or grind it up and pack it around the tooth. Warning regarding clove oil: Do not overuse undiluted clove oil. It can cause local unwanted effects such as burning and nerve damage as well as systemic unwanted effects such as vomiting, difficulty in breathing or liver damage. Clove oil should not be used by small children, diabetics, people with bleeding disorders or people with kidney failure or liver damage.
- Rinsing your mouth with salt water: Using salt water to rinse out your mouth is a simple yet effective way of relieving toothache. By mixing some salt in lukewarm water, you can make a homemade mouthwash that has antibacterial properties. When you rinse your mouth with it, it decreases bacterial activity as well as removing dislodged food particles that may be aggravating your toothache. It is also good for your gums, as it helps reduce gum inflammation.
- Applying heat in case of jaw joint pain: In case of jaw joint pain, applying a hot pack to the side of the face helps by decreasing the tension in the jaw muscles. Do not apply heat in the case of tooth decay, dental abscess or other dental pain besides jaw joint pain as the heat may make the pain worse.
- Applying a wet tea bag to the painful tooth: You may soak a tea bag in lukewarm water, squeeze it and then apply it to the tooth that hurts.
- Using tea tree oil: Tea tree oil may be applied directly to the tooth or a few drops of it may be mixed with a glass of water and the resulting solution can be used to rinse the mouth. It helps relieve the pain of tooth decay.
- Using garlic: You may chew a clove of garlic between the teeth that hurt, or if you are not able to bite down with those teeth, you may make a garlic paste or cut a piece of garlic and apply it to the painful tooth. The antibacterial action of the garlic will reduce the bacterial activity and thereby provide relief from toothache.
- Placing raw potato on the affected tooth: If your dental restoration becomes dislodged from the tooth, or the dental decay causes the inner tissues of the tooth to be exposed, you can cut a piece of raw potato and place it over the tooth in order to protect it from external influences that can cause pain.
A disclaimer about home remedies for dental pain
While home remedies are generally effective, you should not rely on them to continuously relieve your toothache without consulting a dentist. Along with using the home remedies to manage your dental pain, you should get an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. If you have a dental emergency, you should go to a 24-hour emergency care dental practice. Do not delay the treatment of your dental problem as it could get worse and cause further problems.