Toothache Remedies to Tide You Over and Take the Edge Off
Toothaches: Who Needs Them?
Have you ever had a toothache and wondered how on Earth such a tiny body part can cause such wildly debilitating pain? Each of your teeth is individually connected to a major network of nerves that runs throughout your face and connects directly to the brainstem. It would seem that Mother Nature intends for some compromises to our dental health to be the subject of our undivided attention.
This is no accident; few things are when it comes to the intricate design of the human body. Contrary to what many people seem to think, each individual tooth is integral to the optimal health and function of the mouth and indeed the body as a whole. A bum tooth has the ability to halt your life from a practical standpoint, because it can actually halt your life from a literal standpoint! In truth, while fatalities resulting from dental infections do occur every year in the U.S., they are exceptionally rare. It is common, however, for dental infections to lead to serious illness when left untreated. In fact, instances of severe oral infection leading to overall health complications seem to be on the rise.
Generally speaking toothaches are caused either by infection which results in physical damage to the tooth, or by physical damage to the tooth which leaves it particularly vulnerable to infection. In either case there is usually at least moderate risk of tooth loss, if the toothache goes untreated. The situation then becomes a threat to the remaining, healthy teeth, in that it’s fairly easy for infection to spread from one tooth to another or to the gum tissue or even jaw bone.
So you see, our nervous systems actually have very good reason for sending us the unignorable sign of a toothache when our oral health has been compromised. What can you do about it, then? The best way to combat toothaches is to practice good oral hygiene at home in an attempt to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Regular check ups and cleanings with your dentist are important preemptive measures as well.
Of course none of us are perfect, and toothaches can arise despite our best efforts. Often this seems to occur at the least convenient of times or locations, making immediate treatment unavailable. Because of health risks that we touched on above, it is important to have potential tooth infections treated by your dentist in order to increase the likelihood of saving the tooth and to ensure a healthy resolution. We do have some general tips and tidbits, however, that should help to limit your discomfort and temper the worsening of your toothache until you can make it in to your dentist.
A warm salt water rinse is one of the most common recommendations, and for good reason. Salt water helps to draw out infection and fluid that causes swelling and inflammation. You should use a reasonably strong concentration salt, but not so strong that it has a caustic effect on your gums and other soft tissue. Some people report nearly immediate pain relief, while other cases require a long, thorough rinse. This treatment can be repeated as often as is necessary to curb the pain.
Cloves and especially clove oil are widely reported to be very effective against tooth pain also. There are a number of benefits which make cloves such a commonly used dental remedy. They contain eugenol, which is an anesthetic used by many dentists even today. Cloves are antioxidant and contain antibacterial properties as well. They should only be used for temporary relief, however, as long-term repeated use can cause permanent damage to the nerves. Applying clove oil for too long a duration can causing burning of the soft tissue as well.
Ginger has long lasting anti-inflammatory effects also, along with antibacterial properties. Simply cut off a chunk of the root, and bite down upon it with the problem tooth or the tooth adjacent to it. The idea is to force the juice out from the root and work it around the infected area. This process can be repeated periodically as needed.
Baking Soda is well known to have numerous benefits to oral health, and temporary relief from tooth pain can be counted among them. Baking soda can be applied to the problem area by adding a little water to make a paste, or by adding a lot of water to make a rinse. The application may sting a bit at first, but baking soda does an excellent job of eliminating the bacteria that exacerbate toothaches and has the added benefit of helping to strengthen tooth enamel.
Garlic is an excellent antiseptic, and as such can be very effective in the fight against tooth pain. One can apply garlic in almost any way that will bring its properties in contact with the affected area. The most effective way is typically to slice lengthwise down the clove of garlic, so that the bottom half of the garlic clove is halved, but the top half remains intact. You then fit the garlic clove over the top of your problem tooth, like a cap. This will allow the juice and oil from the garlic to seep into the problem area. You can also increase the amount being applied by squeezing the clove of garlic around your tooth.
Toothaches can be inconvenient and painful, to the extent that they can be traumatizing. All patients are different, and toothaches can have a number of root causes. For these reasons, only a dentist can properly advise you as to how to best deal with your specific situation. If you do find yourself unable to reach your dentist if and when a toothache arises, we hope the information in this article proves beneficial.