Tooth trou­bles

Relief for toothache with home reme­dies, says Liz Con­nor

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - This Week -

MOST peo­ple suf­fer from toothache at some point in their lives. While we can all agree that any kind of tooth trou­ble isn’t fun, the pain gen­er­ally varies in in­ten­sity, de­pend­ing on the cause — from a mild throb­bing in the mouth to un­bear­able agony.

The most fre­quent cause of toothache is tooth de­cay, which oc­curs when acid pro­duced from plaque builds up on your teeth. How­ever, it can also be caused by a den­tal ab­scess, a cracked tooth, a loose or bro­ken fill­ing or an un­der­ly­ing in­fec­tion.

In most cases, toothache can be re­solved by see­ing a den­tist to treat the prob­lem. How­ever, there are sev­eral nat­u­ral reme­dies that can re­lieve the pain in the in­terim. Here are a few home cup­board he­roes to reach for next time a pain in the mouth strikes.

1. Clove oil

A cou­ple of drops of this pun­gent oil ap­plied di­rectly to the sore spot can set to work fast on toothache, thanks to its pow­er­ful heal­ing prop­er­ties. An in­gre­di­ent called eugenol pro­vides a hit of relief — a nat­u­ral anaes­thetic and an­tibac­te­rial that can also re­duce in­flam­ma­tion in the mouth.

The oil is usu­ally easy to pick up in a phar­macy or health store, but if you can’t find the liq­uid stuff, you can try plac­ing a whole clove in your mouth, near the tooth that hurts, and bit­ing down to re­lease the oil within.

2. Cold com­press

Press­ing your cheek against some­thing cold is an easy way to find relief, es­pe­cially if you get caught out and don’t have any other pain reme­dies to hand.

A cou­ple of cubes of ice in­side a cloth, placed against the out­side of the af­fected cheek for 10 min­utes can con­strict blood ves­sels in the tooth, mak­ing it par­tic­u­larly help­ful if the tooth pain is caused by trauma.

If you want a more lo­calised relief, you could try freez­ing slices of potato and slot­ting them against the sen­si­tive area for a quick and easy cool kick.

3. Salt wa­ter rinse

Salt is a known to be a nat­u­ral dis­in­fec­tant as well as an anti-in­flam­ma­tory, work­ing to re­duce bac­te­ria lev­els in the mouth. Dis­solve half a tea­spoon of salt in a mug of warm wa­ter and rinse around the mouth for two min­utes be­fore spit­ting out. This is par­tic­u­larly help­ful if your teeth are too sore to brush. The swill­ing ac­tion will help to ease pain and clear the mouth of any left­over food residue.

4. Gar­lic

Gar­lic has been used to re­lieve toothache for cen­turies, and it’s all thanks to a com­pound called al­licin which acts as a nat­u­ral an­tibac­te­rial agent and anaes­thetic. Gen­tly chew on a clove where you’re feel­ing toothache to re­lease the heal­ing juices.

5. Guava leaves

They might not be so read­ily avail­able, but the anti-in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties of these leaves can help in heal­ing wounds, and their an­timi­cro­bial ac­tion can keep your mouth free of bac­te­ria.

You can ei­ther chew on the fresh leaves or crush them to a pulp and add to boil­ing wa­ter to cre­ate a nat­u­ral mouth­wash. Al­ways al­low the wa­ter to cool be­fore you swill it near the sen­si­tive tooth though.

Al­though home reme­dies can help to give you tem­po­rary relief when you need it most, it’s good to re­mem­ber that they won’t fix the un­der­ly­ing prob­lem, so you should al­ways visit the den­tist when toothache per­sists.

DEEP ROOTS: Home reme­dies can give tem­po­rary relief but won’t fix the un­der­ly­ing prob­lem.

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