Toothaches can be brutal. Not only do they result in tooth and jaw discomfort, but sometimes the pain can be so intense it travels up your neck and causes headaches. Fortunately, finding relief can often be simple. Below are 10 natural remedies for toothaches. And remember, sometimes a toothache can be the sign of a bigger health problem, such as a heart attack, so it’s important to check in with your doctor if you feel tooth pain.
Cold compresses relieve injuries by numbing the pain and decreasing swelling. As you would with other inflamed and injured areas, using a cold compress on your jaw may alleviate your toothache. Wrap ice or an ice pack in a towel to avoid an ice burn on your face. Place the cold compress on the painful region for about 20 minutes. Cold compresses can be used multiple times throughout the day as needed.
In traditional medicine, cloves have long been revered as a medicinal remedy. They’ve been used to support the immune, respiratory, and digestive systems. Additionally, clove oil acts as a numbing agent thanks to one of its active ingredients, eugenol. Eugenol is an anesthetic and has anti-inflammatory properties. Using a clove oil-based paste, researchers discovered it was more effective than chlorhexidine gel, a type of antimicrobial drug.
One of the simplest ways to find relief from a toothache caused by inflammation is through a saltwater rinse. In one study, saltwater significantly enhanced wound closure thus proving a saltwater rinse is an effective and economic solution. However, when too much salt was used, the rinse had the opposite effect. To ensure your saltwater rinse is efficacious, mix one-half of a teaspoon in eight ounces of water.
Mint tea and oil are often used to cure stomach woes, but there’s some interesting research regarding its connection to pain management. Studies suggest that when applied topically, peppermint can alleviate pain. It’s believed that an active ingredient in peppermint, menthol, works as a counterirritant making the skin feel cool then warm. Not only that but peppermint is antibacterial, which means it may protect your gums from harmful bacteria.
Hydrogen peroxide has several health benefits such as cleaning wounds, easing canker sores, and cleaning earwax buildup. It’s even being used in hospitals as a disinfectant. Hydrogen peroxide has been proven effective by significantly reducing gum swelling and inflammation when used as a mouthwash. You can find mouthwashes made in hydrogen peroxide at the drug store or you can make your own. Mix two parts water with one part hydrogen peroxide.
Guava, aloe, and pomegranate
Two plants that possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties are guava and pomegranate. Both have been studied and proven effective to work against periodontal plaque. In one study, many participants reported relief and healing from toothaches after using guava , aloe, and pomegranate. They also help the mouth heal after tooth extractions and bleeding gums.
Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that garlic is one powerful plant, and not just because it wards off vampires. It’s been used for thousands of years because of its medicinal properties. In ancient cultures, it was thought to treat tuberculous and snake bites. Some used it to cure cholera and typhoid fever. Recently, scientists discovered that garlic may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. You can also use it for tooth pain. Garlic contains allicin, which is used for its antibacterial properties and kills the bacteria often responsible for toothaches.
Turmeric is a flavorful spice, but it’s also another plant long regarded by traditional cultures as medicine. It’s been used to treat wounds, alleviate congestion, and support digestion. Recently, researchers discovered that curcumin, a substance in turmeric, may slow cancer growth and reduce inflammation. It’s also regarded as an alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also called NSAIDs. Turmeric can be used to fight infection, prevent cavities, and ease inflammation all to counter a toothache.
An important step in relieving your toothache is to determine what’s causing the pain.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can be a source of tooth sensitivity and extremely detrimental to your jaw and teeth. Continuously grinding your teeth can lead to enamel loss and further damage. If your toothache stems from grinding, consider purchasing a mouthguard from your dentist or the drug store.
Avoid tooth-sensitive foods and activities
Soda, sugary snacks, and wine are all major culprits of enamel erosion and the resulting tooth pain. Citrus foods can also damage your enamel leading to tooth sensitivity. You can cut some of these foods and drinks from your diet—especially the not-so-healthy ones—or drink a lot of water following consumption to counter their acidic effects. Additionally, make sure you aren’t using an abrasive toothpaste or hard-bristled toothbrush.