The Truth About Curing a Toothache

curing a toothacheIn our previous post, we talked about medieval mythological beliefs on curing a toothache. Some of them were pretty gruesome. With the advent of modern medicine, there are easy and effective ways to treat your toothache. This is Dr. Fred Puccio blogging from Wyckoff, NJ, and this week we’re going to talk about real ways to help with a toothache.

Toothaches occur when the nerve in the tooth root or around the tooth become tender. Oftentimes, it’s caused from trauma, bacteria overgrowth, or decay. Gum disease, however, doesn’t typically present any pain, but if your gums start to recede you will experience tooth sensitivities. You’ll usually notice a toothache when you’re chewing or eating something hot or cold. Sometimes, your teeth and gums will bleed in the area that’s unhealthy. Other times, you might experience swelling around your tooth.

Pain Relief Remedies for Toothaches

A toothache is your bodies way of telling you that something is wrong. Whether it be a cavity, loose filling, cracked tooth, abscess, or sinus problem, you should see your dentist to make sure that it’s nothing something major. In the meantime, you probably want relief and fast, because toothaches are one of the worst physical ailments that can happen to you. Here are 9 remedies that can help alleviate your toothache, until you make it to the dentist’s office:

  • Clove oil. Cloves are known to numb your nerves, because of the primary chemical is a spice called eugenol. Eugenol is a natural anesthetic. Be gentle when applying the oil, if you drench the area in oil, it can cause the pain to get worse by inflaming your sensitive gums. To apply clove oil gently, put a couple drop on a Q-tip, then hold it against the aching tooth until it subsides. You can also sprinkle some on a cotton ball and put it on your tooth. This way, you won’t have to hold it in place.
  • Make a paste out of ginger and cayenne. Mix equal amounts of ginger and cayenne with a little bit of water to make a paste. Next, you can roll a cotton ball in the paste, then place it on your tooth. Once again, avoid your sensitive tongue and gums. Leave the cotton ball on the tooth until the pain subsides. Be prepared for a burn, because these spices are potent and spicy.
  • Rinse with salt water. Mix a teaspoon of salt into a cup of boiling water to use as a mouth rinse. Salt water is good way to clean irritants and decrease swelling. You’ll want to rinse for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. The salt water will clean your mouth and pull out the fluids that are producing swelling.
  • Use a peppermint tea. Peppermint tea has some numbing qualities that will calm down your tooth’s nerves. To numb your teeth with tea put a teaspoon of dry peppermint leaves in boiling water and let it brew for 20-30 minutes. Once the tea cools down a little bit, rinse the tea around in your mouth until you swallow it.
  • Rinse with hydrogen peroxide. If your tooth is aching because an infection is present, you can kill some of the bacteria to clean it and relieve the pain. Swishing with a 3% hydrogen peroxide rinse will disinfect the tooth. Be careful to not swallow any of the hydrogen peroxide, then rinse with water afterwards. If you believe that you have a tooth infection, try to get to the dentist as soon as possible.
  • Ice the wound. To alleviate some of the swelling and pain put some ice cubes in a zip lock bag wrapped in a wash cloth and hold it against the tooth. Otherwise, you can hold the pack against your cheek over the toothache area. The cold will number the nerves and alleviate some of the pain.
  • Wash the inflamed area with myrrh. You might be thinking “where do I even buy myrrh? I don’t see any 3 wise men around.” After doing some research on Google, I found that you can buy myrrh tinctures online or go to a health food store. Unless you have amazon prime, I’d recommend the health food route. Especially when you’re looking for immediate relief. Myrrh kills bacteria and reduces swelling. To make your own tincture, you can buy the myrrh and simmer 1 teaspoon of the powder with 2 cups of water for about half an hour. Then, you strain the myrrh and let the tincture cool off. You’ll need to repeat rinsing with 1 teaspoon about 6 times a day.
  • Distract yourself from the pain. This remedy is less scientifically founded. To distract yourself from the pain, you can soak a piece of a brown paper bag in vinegar. Once the paper is nice and drenched, put black pepper on one side of the bag, then hold it against your cheek. It will create a warm tingly feeling that might distract you from the pain.
  • Use the right toothpaste. If your tooth pain stems from having sensitive teeth, switch the tools you’re using to take care of your dental health. Using a soft brush will keep your gums from receding further, and toothpaste that’s made for sensitive teeth will help restore your enamel.
  • Use a chewing gum filling. If your toothache is caused from a lost filling or cracked tooth, you can ease the pain by using chewing gum to cover the sensitive area. This will also help if your filling has just come loose and you need to keep it intact until you can make it to the dentist. In the meantime, be cautious to make sure that you’re not chewing on the broken tooth.

No matter the route you take to help relieve your toothache, we can’t stress enough that these are not cures. They will simply help take some of the pain away until you get to the dentist.  If you’re in Wyckoff, NJ, come see Dr. Puccio at Midland Family Dentistry for all your dental ailments. He will get to the bottom of your aching tooth and restore your smile in no time.