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Natural remedies for toothaches

Updated February 21, 2017

Toothaches should always be treated by your dentist, but after you make your appointment, what can you do to bide your time through all that pain? If you are experiencing a high fever, swelling of the mouth, or a rash on your body, go to the emergency room. Otherwise, there are several remedies you can try at home in order to temporarily aid your toothache pain until you can get to the dentist.

Home Remedies

Although home remedies are not proven by the FDA or recommended as long-term treatment by doctors, they can help you temporarily ease the pain. Place a piece of ice near the afflicted area in your mouth and allow it to melt, or place a piece of ice in the web between your thumb and forefinger, which is a pressure point that can relieve pain within the mouth. You can also place a peeled clove of garlic dipped in water and then rolled in some kosher salt and place this in the mouth. It may taste terrible, but the combination of the garlic and salt will relieve the pain in the mouth temporarily.

Over-the-Counter Remedies

Over-the-counter numbing creams and gels are more expensive than home remedies, but they can still be used to zap the pain while waiting for your dentist's appointment. Orajel, for example, is a tooth desensitising gel that also manufactures mouthwash and children's toothache remedies. These gels can be purchased at your local drugstore or grocery store. Open the gel and place a small amount on a cotton swab or your finger. Dry the area around the tooth with a paper towel and place the gel directly on the tooth and the surrounding gums. The tooth will be numbed completely for about 20 minutes, and then the gel will need to be reapplied.

Old Wives' Tales

Common old wives' tales of remedies to relieve toothaches include tying a bandage around the head to relieve toothaches. This remedy can be seen in hundreds of movies, as well as in popular culture. Poultices were supposedly placed on the bandage in order to draw out impurities that caused pain. Poultices were usually made out of porridge or bran, because it contained iron and was highly absorbent. Another common old wives' tale for getting rid of a toothache is drinking whiskey and placing it on the tooth. According to Dr. Matthew J. Messina, although whiskey may numb the tooth for a short period of time, the whiskey has no antibacterial properties and will not remedy the toothache or take away the pain for any significant amount of time.

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