Imagine this: you’ve just settled in for a quiet Friday night of relaxation after a challenging work week. You bite down a little too hard on that piece of candy, and suddenly, you have a throbbing toothache. Yowch! What’s even worse is that it’s the start of the weekend, and already after hours for your dentist. What do you do? Fortunately, there are some smart things you can do on your own to help relieve the pain until a professional can take a closer look. Here are 7 home remedies for relieving a toothache.
- Grab an Ice Pack – This is especially helpful if your gums or face has become swollen, since a cold compress can relieve inflammation. It might also help reduce the pain. If you don’t have a proper ice pack, anything cold will do. This can be a TV dinner, frozen bag of peas or even ice cubes inside of a towel. Don’t apply ice directly to the tooth. Put it inside a towel first, and limit the cold pack to 15 minutes at a time.
- Use a Salt Water Rinse – Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will increase the pH of your mouth temporarily, making it more alkaline. This will create an environment that bacteria don’t like and it will also help promote healing. It’s very simple, too. Just add a half teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and rinse every two or three hours. This is also recommended for people who have just had tooth surgery.
- Keep Away Vampires and Tooth Pain with Garlic – A clove of garlic isn’t just a great way to protect yourself from evil spirits and demons. It’s also great for relieving a toothache! Crush a garlic clove and mix it with a bit of salt, then apply it to your sore tooth. Garlic has antioxidant properties that helps to reduce inflammation, which makes it useful in reducing pain.
- Try Clove Oil – If you have clove oil sitting around (it has many medicinal uses), you can apply it to your tooth to get rid of the pain. Clove oil contains eugenol, a natural anesthetic. This wondrous substance is also an antimicrobial and antifungal, and it will reduce any inflammation. To use, mix a few drops of clove oil with a teaspoon of olive oil in a dish and let a cotton ball or swab soak in the mixture. Apply it to the bothersome tooth; it should only take about 5-10 minutes to work its magic.
- Enjoy a Vigorous Workout – Really? With your tooth throbbing in pain? Yes. Exercise has been shown to release endorphins, which is a natural pain reliever. The increased blood flow supplies the tooth and gum area with oxygen and nutrition and helps to drain any toxins. Laughter is another free, easy way to reduce pain, since it releases endorphins, just as exercise does.
- Meditate – A relaxation technique calms the mind, reducing stress hormones. One’s emotions and mental attitude has a strong effect on perceived pain.
- Get Yourself Some Cheap Painkillers – If all that fails, you can do what many people do when the pain gets too difficult to bear — take a pill. Painkillers are only recommended for short-term use, but you shouldn’t rule them out if you’re in extreme discomfort. The best painkillers for a toothache are paracetamol and ibuprofen. Paracetamol works by desensitizing nerve endings so you won’t feel the pain as much, whereas ibuprofen reduces inflammation, which also decreases pain.