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Treating Toothaches

by Dave Lee 7 months ago in advice
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7 Must-Know At-Home Remedies

Are you struggling with a toothache? Whether it’s a dull, consistent discomfort or a sharp, stabbing pain, a problematic tooth can prevent you from chewing comfortably, sleeping soundly, and even concentrating at work. Since the root of the problem can quickly progress from a small cavity to extensive decay, it’s crucial that you get in touch with your dental team right away. As a dentist who has extensive experience treating dental emergencies, I can confidently tell you that it could mean the difference between a traditional filling and root canal therapy. With that being said, if you have a few hours or days until your appointment, you shouldn’t have to suffer in the meantime. That’s why I’m sharing seven must-know at-home toothache remedies!

Remedy #1: Floss, Floss, Floss

Many times, the source of the irritation you’re experiencing is lingering food debris that’s trapped between your teeth or against your gums, resulting in unpleasant discomfort. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to try gently cleaning between each tooth with floss. This will effectively dislodge any potential irritants.

Remedy #2: Saltwater Rinse

If flossing didn’t work, don’t fret. Instead, dissolve a half teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Rinse with the mixture repeatedly until the liquid is gone (don’t swallow). The combination of these two household items will shake food irritants loose, reduce puffiness, kill harmful bacteria, and heal oral wounds.

Remedy #3: A Cold Compress

Another effective way to reduce inflammation and temporarily numb the area is by placing a cold compress or towel-wrapped icepack against your cheek. (If you’re in a pinch, you can also use a bag of frozen peas or sip on ice-cold water). Do so for about 10 minutes at a time until you feel the discomfort subside.

Remedy #4: Garlic

Think garlic is only useful for flavoring your food and scaring off vampires? Think again! In fact, this popular seasoning has been used to treat dental issues for thousands of years. All you have to do is create a paste from a crushed-up garlic clove and apply it to the problematic tooth. You can also gently chew on it to achieve the same medicinal effects.

Remedy #5: Peppermint Tea Bags

Are you a fan of peppermint tea? Fortunately, the leaves can double as a toothache remedy, numbing pain and soothing sensitive gums. In this case, you should let the used teabag cool down some before applying it to the affected area. The slight warmth will soothe the sensitive nerves, mitigating your discomfort. (Pro tip: You can also freeze the teabag for a few minutes to create your own mini icepack!).

Remedy #6: Eat the Right Foods

Although it’s not technically a “remedy,” the foods you eat will certainly play a role in how severe your tooth pain is. For example, peanut brittle, crunchy bread, and other products that require extensive chewing power will only exacerbate the issue. On the other hand, foods like oatmeal and ripe bananas aren’t only soft, but they are packed with nutrients! So, stick to items that are low in sugar, non-acidic, and easy to chew.

Remedy #7: Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

If you try all of the above tactics, and none of them seem to work, then you can take an OTC pain reliever. Make sure to follow the instructions precisely and not take more than directed. Remember, this is a band-aid fix, not a long-term solution. While this method will most certainly ease any soreness you’re experiencing, it will not treat the root of the problem. So, priority number one is to still visit your dentist ASAP. The sooner you call, the sooner your pain-free smile will be restored!


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Dave Lee

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