A toothache can be caused by a number of issues, ranging from gum disease, cracked tooth, an abnormal bite, to the grinding of your teeth.
The tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body and is very much mineralized and brittle making up the outside of the tooth. Underneath the enamel is dentin, a softer and flexible supporting tissue.
We also have the pulp, which is the central part of the tooth filled with soft connective tissues that have a lot of blood vessels and nerves.
A cavity in the teeth is as a result of bacteria in the mouth, and its reaction to sugars and starches. As bacteria break down the sugars and starches in the mouth, gummy plaque filled with acids form over the tooth, and if left free, plaque can form tartar, which can’t be easily brushed away.
These acids eat away at the tooth enamel until pulp becomes infected. It is when the pulp is infected that a root canal becomes important in helping prevent the spread of infection and an abscess in the mouth.
Home Remedies for Toothache Relief
Cloves contain a substance called eugenol, that acts as a powerful antiseptic and anesthetic. Eugenol, in an extracted purified form, is still in use today, and cloves act on certain pain receptors, blocking them and thus stopping the sensation of pain.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to get it nicely flushed out.
- Put in a few drops of clove essential oil with ½ teaspoon of olive oil and mix.
- Steep a cotton ball in this mixture and then hold it gently but firmly against the affected tooth or gum
- Alternatively, you can take a shortcut by putting some of the oil on a cotton swab and dabbing it directly at the affected tooth.
Rinse with Saltwater
Bacteria found in the mouth feed off on sugars (sucrose) in the diet. When these bacteria break down the sugar, it produces lactic acid, which then eats away at the enamel and into the dentin thereby infecting the pulp.
This infection can spread and turn into an abscess or an inflammation, but salt, however, helps to neutralize the lactic acid and slows down the process of decay significantly, helping to relieve pain.
Warm salt water will also help contract swollen tissues as it draws excess fluid out of them.
- Add a teaspoon of salt in a cup
- pour in a clean boiled water.
- Swish it around for about 30 seconds before spitting it out.
- The Saltwater cleanses the area around the tooth and draws out some of the fluid that causes infection.
- Repeat this treatment as often needed.
Peppermint essential oil helps in numbing tooth pain, as it contains menthol, which is a major constituent. Menthol is a K-opioid receptor agonist, that is naturally occurring in mint. That is what makes it such an effective pain reliever, and can help desensitize a region through TRPM8, (known as the cold menthol receptor).
- Mix 10-15 droplets of peppermint essential oil into 2 tablespoons of neutral oil to Dilute(this is important to avoid any irritation)
- Steep a cotton ball in the oil and pack it around the sore tooth, or
- soak a cotton swab and swab the gum surrounding the affected tooth.
- Repeat as needed until relieve is obtained.
The main chemical constituent of cayenne, capsaicin has been found to help stop pain signal from reaching the brain.
- Mix equal parts of ginger and cayenne, (which are heat-packing spices) with sufficient water to make a paste.
- Dab a small ball of cotton into enough paste to saturate it, then put it on your tooth while avoiding your gums and tongue.
- Leave it until the pain declines or as long as you can bear it since the mixture is likely to burn.
- You can also use this spices separately since both are effective painkillers.
- Put a small ice cube in a plastic bag,
- wrap a thin fabric around the bag, and apply it to the painful tooth for about 15 minutes to numb the nerves.
- Alternatively, you can put the ice pack on your cheek, over the painful tooth.
Wash It With Myrrh
You can also wash with a tincture of myrrh, which is also known for killing bacteria. The astringent effects help with the inflammation.
- Stir a teaspoon of powdered myrrh in 2 cups water for up to 30 minutes.
- Strain and let it cool.
- Then, wash with a teaspoon of the solution in a half filled cup of water for five to six times a day