Toothaches are excruciating. Anyone who has ever experienced a toothache, especially on a weekend or in the middle of the night, has probably done at least one Google search for “home toothache remedies.” Looking up this term no doubt yielded a dozen different ways to lessen or eliminate tooth pain using stuff you probably already have in your house. As reassuring as that may sound when you are in pain, not all folk remedies are equally effective. In fact, some of the commonly-suggested solutions are simply ineffective while others are flat-out dangerous. We give you the lowdown on some of the most popular DIY remedies and their effectiveness:
Use: Dilute concentrated clove oil with water and dip a small bit of clean material into the mixture. Hold the compress over the affected tooth.
Effectiveness: Clove oil is full of a natural painkiller known as eugenol, so it will relieve pain and inflammation by making the area numb. It does not, however, address the cause of your pain, such as gum disease or a broken tooth. Those issues will still require a dental visit in order to be resolved. Clove oil can also be a serious irritant if you forget to dilute it before use.
Use: Wet a bag of peppermint tea, then place it in your refrigerator to cool. Apply the cooled tea bag directly to the affected area and let it sit. When the pain returns, repeat the process with a fresh tea bag.
Effectiveness: Peppermint contains menthol, which does have mild pain-relieving properties. That’s one of the reasons most muscle rubs smell like mint. Similar to clove oil, menthol offers some relief from tooth pain but does not address what is causing the problem to begin with.
Use: Mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water and stir until the salt dissolves. Swish the mixture around in your mouth for about a minute, then spit. You can do this as often as necessary.
Effectiveness: Anyone who has ever had oral surgery or an oral piercing can attest to the validity of the saltwater rinse. Saltwater extricates debris from hard-to-reach areas of your mouth and cleans any infected areas. Like the first two home remedies on this list, however, the relief it provides is temporary and it does not address the issue causing the pain. A saltwater rinse is the safest of all home remedies.
At McBride Dental, we want to help you and your family do everything possible to have and preserve healthy teeth and gums. By scheduling regular appointments with your California family dentist and practicing the oral care techniques we teach you, your whole family will easily maintain teeth that are healthy, strong, and effective.
The San Marcos offices of Dr. Michael McBride are staffed with reputable, professional San Diego area dentists that are ready to address any concerns you may have regarding common dental procedures, as well as preventative, cosmetic, or restorative dentistry. We also provide sedation dentistry treatments as an option for our patients with severe dental anxiety.
It is our job to help you and your family establish healthy dental habits to make sure that your teeth will always be there when you need them and your smile will always look great.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a San Marcos dentist, please give us a call at (760) 471-1003 and speak with a trained member of our dental staff today.