Toothaches are terrible. This is obviously an understatement coming from a dentist, but it’s easy to forget just how painful they can be. Not only that, but the throbbing, dull ache can distract you from living your day-to-day life. When toothaches happen, you need a strategy for minimizing the pain while you seek out permanent relief.
Before handing these home remedies out, it should be noted that temporary pain relief is not a substitute for visiting your dentist. Tooth pain is not only bad in and of itself, but it is often a symptom of something worse – from a cavity or a loose filling to a cracked tooth or exposed root. For long-term relief, you need to schedule an examination with a dentist as quickly as possible.
That said, here are a couple of options to help you get by until your examination:
- Salt and Hot Water: This is the granddaddy of temporary pain relievers. Just mix a single tablespoon of common salt into a glass of hot water and use it to rinse your teeth. Not only will it reduce inflammation and swelling but the salt will also fight bacteria infesting the afflicted area.
- Salt and Pepper Paste: This is similar to the above, but the added pepper has analgesic properties as well. To create the paste, mix equal parts salt and pepper with a drop or two of water. Once it’s mixed into a paste, apply it to the affected area and leave it to sit.
- Citrus: The high amounts of vitamin C and citric acid present in lemons or limes will not only fight bacteria but also support a healthy immune system. Cut the citrus into wedges, lightly bite a wedge to release some of the juice and then apply to the painful area.
- Vanilla: The most basic of all ice cream flavors can, in extract form, numb pain and have a calming effect. Simply take a cotton ball, place a drop or two of vanilla extract on it, and then place it on the affected surface. Almond or peppermint extract can work in the same way.
- Garlic: This delicious root has antibiotic properties and provides some other health benefits. You can combine a crushed clove with some salt and apply it to the tooth, or else just chew a clove or two. A slice of onion can have a similar effect.
Again, none of the above is a substitute for visiting the dentist and getting proper treatment. But they can make life bearable while you are on your way into the office.