When you’re suddenly struck with a toothache, floating ideas of home remedies may quickly come to mind. Whether you heard it from your great-aunt or saw it on Pinterest, at-home treatments are everywhere. Augusta dentist, Dr. Jonathan Bullard can explain more about how to care for a toothache and when to come in for a visit.
Common causes of toothaches are infections, cavities, damaged enamel, a cracked tooth or an exposed root – all good reasons to get yourself to the dentist! Home remedies for a toothache may work for immediate relief, but they’re not likely to last long, and they may not be completely safe.
If you like using household ingredients for personal care, you may look into your own pantry for something to relieve the pain, but do your research prior to use–and before things get too out of hand, call your dentist to prevent worse pain or problems.
The best-case scenario is some pain relief with a simple ingredient or treatment. Be cautious as even relatively harmless ingredients might irritate other parts of your gums and tongue. The most commonly shared tips for treating a sore tooth at home are:
Alcohol: Either in the form of whiskey or vanilla extract, alcohol can clean and kill bacteria that cause pain. It can also numb the irritated tissue. Alcohol is commonly applied directly to the sore tooth or via a soaked cotton ball left on the spot.
Garlic: Can kill germs that cause pain and inflammation. Usually applied by chewing a raw head of garlic or mashing it up and applying to the spot in pain.
Saltwater: Saltwater can rinse away pain-causing junk on your teeth and gums and can ease inflammation of the tissues. Swish and gargle water with pure salt a couple of times per day and be sure to spit it out when you’re done.
Herbs: Peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, and cloves are popular disinfectants that may also numb the area in pain for a short while. Do not apply herbs in essential oil form directly to your mouth because they are too strong and will only hurt you more. Try swishing a small amount in your mouth with water, or put a damp tea bag right onto the affected area.
As with many natural remedies, most of these would probably be best used preventively. By the time you truly have a toothache, there is likely a deeper problem that needs to be fixed. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. To be relieved of pain and prevent further damage, treat the cause, not the symptom. Blood, swelling, discoloration, and persisting pain should send you to the dentist right away.
If you have a toothache, contact Dr. Bullard at Bullard Dental in Augusta to make an appointment and get at the root of the problem. Be ready to report when the pain started and if it aches more or less at different times of the day.
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Dr. Bullard graduated cum laude from Augusta State University with a business administration and management degree. He served as vice president of his dental class at the Medical College of Georgia where he attained his DMD degree. Rather than entering into private practice directly after dental school, he furthered his education by completing a one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center here in Augusta. Here he enriched his skills in diagnosis and treatment planning, endodontics, oral surgery, dental implants, and cosmetic dental procedures. Dr. Bullard is currently an Associate Fellow in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He is also in the process of attaining Diplomate Status in the American Board of Implant Dentistry. Diplomate Status in the ABOI is an internationally recognized achievement that involves hundreds of hours of dental implant training and multiple written and oral exams. Dr. Bullard is an active member of the Georgia Dental Association, American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, and the Augusta Dental Society.
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