Home remedies are notorious for not being scientific. However, science has sought to understand how some of these home remedies work. Bustle notes that approximately one out of every three Americans seek alternative medicine to deal with their medical problems. In the field of dentistry, though, home remedies have been around for a long time. Your Lake Worth dentist is working to uncovering the scientific reasons why certain home remedies work. It all starts with understanding how toothaches come about.
What Can Cause a Toothache: Advice From Your Lake Worth Dentist?
According to WebMD, a toothache happens when the nerves in or around the tooth become aggravated. The pulp of the tooth is the central portion of nerves inside the enamel. These nerves are susceptible to pain. Dental cavities, infection, or even trauma can lead to tooth or jaw pain, the primary symptoms of a toothache. When bacteria makes it into your mouth, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Both of these can cause pain as the nerves within the central portion of the tooth (called the pulp) become irritated.
Pain is an important part of our body’s early-warning system. Consulting your Lake Worth dentist should be the first thing you do when pain occurs. Sometimes, however, it’s inconvenient to call in your Lake Worth dentist. You end up having to bear with the pain for a while. In emergencies where you can’t get to your dentist right away, toothache remedies are a method of getting temporary relief.
What Does Your Lake Worth Dentist Say About Home Remedies for Toothaches?
Many home remedies operate on the placebo effect. As the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states, the placebo effect is a positive health outcome which happens from the anticipation that something will help you. In simple terms, it says that some of the ‘cures’ that home remedies offer are all in your head. However, science has undertaken the lengthy task of figuring out which ones do work and which ones don’t. These home remedies for toothache all have scientific backing behind their recommendation.
A lot of people consider a saltwater rinse as the first thing they go to for toothache relief. This belief might not be so far-fetched. Plos One mentions that rinsing with salt water promotes oral ulcer healing. The accepted approach to a saline rinse is mixing half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. An alternative to saltwater is hydrogen peroxide. However, you need to be aware of the dilution of hydrogen peroxide in your solution. Most importantly, spit it out after gargling. As Healthline notes, ingesting undiluted hydrogen peroxide can burn your insides. When using it as a rinse, the suggested methodology is to gargle and spit it out. The International Journal of Dental Hygiene found that gargling with hydrogen peroxide helped with gum inflammation.
2. Cold Compresses of Ice Packs
Anyone who has ever used a cold compress to deal with a toothache knows the benefits of having something like that to ease the pain. It turns out that the relief isn’t all in your head. According to John Hopkins Medicine, cold compresses numb the area, thereby reducing swelling and inflammation. If you can’t get a cold compress from a pharmacy, then you can improvise one pretty easily. A towel-wrapped bag of ice works just as well. Apply to the affected area for 20 minutes to relieve some of the pain.
Ever since the classical days of medicine, garlic was a known antimicrobial agent. The Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine states that a review of recent studies proves that garlic is applicable in many real-world situations. Garlic, in the world of Lake Worth dentistry, may be useful in controlling the bacteria that cause plaque. It can also serve as a painkiller in a pinch because of its antimicrobial properties as well. To use garlic, crush a single clove into a paste and apply it directly to the area.
The Libyan Journal of Medicine notes that clove oil has anti-inflammatory characteristics. The clove oil contains a natural antiseptic called eugenol. This antiseptic is useful in dealing with bacteria that may be irritating your nerves around or in the tooth. To use clove oil effectively, use a cotton swab to apply it directly to the area that hurts. You might want to dilute it with olive oil if you’re concerned about it being too strong.
5. Tea Bags
While you might use tea as a soothing drink to help you calm your nerves, tea bags can be a pretty good home remedy for toothache. The journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that tea bags, when applied to someone who had a wisdom tooth extraction, helped control bleeding of their gums. In the case of a regular toothache, you can use a teabag like a cold compress, except applied directly to the tooth. Steep the teabag in warm water to moisten it for ten minutes and then put the bag in the freezer for a few minutes to chill it. You can then apply this to the affected tooth. It works the same way as a cold compress, except inside your mouth.
While strictly not an alternative remedy, painkillers are so easily available in people’s homes that they constitute a home-based solution. Medicine Net mentions that naproxen or ibuprofen taken on a schedule are good for relieving pain, with acetaminophen as an alternative. Occasionally, you may want to alter the painkillers you take. With all this, however, it is essential to follow instructions for dosage.
7. Vanilla Extract
Most vanilla extracts contain alcohol, which can be useful for numbing an area and reducing pain. However, the real power in vanilla extract comes from its antioxidant properties. Using vanilla extract requires putting it on a cotton ball or the tip of a finger and applying it directly to the tooth that hurts.
8. Guava Leaves
One of the most unlikely home remedies for toothache is the unassuming guava leaf. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations notes that guava leaf extract displays significant antibacterial properties. The best method of applying guava leaves is not to extract anything from the plant itself. Chewing on the raw leaves may be enough to provide temporary relief from the pain of a toothache. The antibacterial elements within the leaf will control the bacteria irritating the tooth’s nerves providing some temporary respite from the pain.
Immediately Check with your Lake Worth Dentist
While these home remedies are useful for when you get a toothache at an inopportune moment, they are temporary at best. Sustained pain could mean a dire problem inside your mouth, needing a professional to deal with it. Pain is the body’s method of telling you that something is wrong. If your toothache persists, it may be time to check a Lake Worth dentist. Luckily, Anderson Dental Lake Worth caters to a wide range of clients, and we’ve made it our business to make sure our clientele feel right at home. Got an emergency toothache you need to deal with? Let us know, and we’ll pencil you in at your earliest convenience!