Treat a toothache at home
Causes: Infection, tooth decay, receding gums, broken fillings etc.
1. Mouth rinse with salt water
Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water helps to loosen debris lodged in cavities or between teeth. It may also boost healing, and relieve a sore throat. A saltwater rinse can be made by dissolving 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Swish around in the mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting out, repeat it often as required..
Cloves contain eugenol, a chemical compound that acts as a natural anesthetic. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can help fight tooth and gum infections. Soak a small cotton ball with clove oil and apply it to the area affected by the painful tooth. Dried whole cloves can also be gently chewed to release its oil and hold in place against the affected tooth for up to 30 minutes.
3. Ice pack
An ice pack can help ease dental pain if a toothache is due to injury or swollen gums. Hold the ice pack against the outside of the cheek above the painful tooth for a few minutes at a time. The application of a cold treatment constricts the blood vessels, slowing the flow of blood to the affected area. This helps numb the pain and reduce swelling and inflammation.
Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which accounts for its powerful antibacterial properties. A fresh clove of garlic should first be crushed and then mixed with a little salt, and the mixture applied to the affected tooth.
Over-the-counter medication, such as paracetamol, acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can provide temporary pain relief for a toothache. Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years old.
6. Peppermint tea
Like cloves, peppermint has numbing properties that can soothe a toothache. Menthol, which gives peppermint its minty flavor and smell, is also known to be antibacterial. One teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves can be put in a cup of boiling water and steeped for 20 minutes. After allowing to cool, it can be swished around in the mouth then spat out or swallowed. A slightly warm, wet tea bag can also be used and held against the tooth for several minutes until the pain lessens. A few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball can also be placed against the affected tooth as a temporary remedy.
Thyme is known for its medicinal uses and is an effective remedy for chest infections, such as bronchitis or whooping cough. Thymol, the main component of the essential oil, has antiseptic and antifungal properties. One drop of thyme essential oil can be added to a glass of water to make a mouthwash. Another method is to sprinkle a few drops of thyme essential oil and water onto a cotton ball. After adding the water, press it against the painful tooth.
8. Aloe vera
Aloe vera gel, which can be found within the succulent plant's leaves, has long been used to heal burns and minor cuts. Some people now use the gel to clean and soothe gums. Studies have shown that aloe vera has natural antibacterial qualities and can destroy germs that cause tooth decay. The gel should be applied to the painful area of the mouth and gently massaged.
When to see a dentist :
These home remedies are meant to provide temporary relief only. It is important to seek immediate treatment from a dentist once a toothache lasts for more than a day or two. If dental pain is not treated straight away, it might lead to more serious problems, such as gum disease or a dental abscess.