Getting To The Root Of Tooth Pain
Addressing tooth pain is an extremely common problem and can have many different causes, some not related to the teeth at all. Pain in the teeth can be particularly distressing and is often a sign of a bigger problem. Obviously, the best option for treating tooth pain is to see the dentist. However, there are some steps you can take at home to help relieve pain.
Most toothache is caused by cavities or gum disease. These are degenerative problems and they require dental treatment. In some cases, pain in and around the teeth can have a non-dental source. Clogged or inflamed sinuses, ear infection and even heart attack or angina can all manifest as pain in the tooth or jaw area.
When tooth pain does strike, there are some simple self-help measures you can use to alleviate it. The quickest and easiest is rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. Salt water is very healing and can ease most pain almost instantly. Simply add about two teaspoons of salt to a small cup of water and either swish over the affected area or dab directly onto the painful tooth.
Cloves are also an effective home pain reliever, as they contain a numbing agent called eugenol. Applying oil of cloves to the affected area with a cotton swab can bring instant pain relief. In a pinch, you can also use dried cloves and either rub them against the affected area or chew on them if chewing is not too painful.
Flossing is one of the most important home remedies. Often toothache can be caused by bits of food becoming lodged between the teeth. Gentle flossing can help to dislodge the offending food particles, thereby alleviating the pain. Flossing and brushing regularly is recommended by all dentists as the foundation of good oral hygiene.
Another simple method for relief of tooth pain is the use of acupressure. Applying pressure to the web of skin between the thumb and forefinger can cause pain in the teeth to ease. Simply pinch the area, applying pressure for one or two minutes or apply ice to that area for several minutes. You can switch off from one hand to the other as necessary.
There are over the counter medications that can be used to ease toothache or you can use a standard painkiller such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. This can sometimes bring about temporary relief but may not be a permanent cure. If you have sensitivity to these kinds of painkillers, you should avoid taking them.
Toothache may be a nuisance but it should never be taken lightly. It is often a sign of a much more serious problem and in most cases, the only permanent solution is to see your dentist. Don’t be too quick to dismiss pain in your teeth, heed the warning and get to the root of the problem before it becomes an even bigger headache.