Home Remedies For Toothache

Eric Bakker N.D.April 30, 2022

Don’t you just hate toothaches? They come at the worst time and can really drive you crazy. All you want to do is switch that pain off because it can ruin your entire day. How can you enjoy anything hot or cold when you have a toothache? Let's look at some great home remedies to subdue that throb.

Eric Bakker Naturopath » Recipes » Home Remedies For Toothache

Subdue That Throb!

A home remedy for toothache is sometimes requested by a patient. Don’t you just hate toothaches? They come at the worst time and can really drive you crazy. All you want to do is switch that pain off because it can ruin your entire day. How can you enjoy anything hot or cold when you have a toothache?
Your toothache may happen for any number of reasons, but toothaches are generally caused by tooth decay which is caused by acids from an accumulation of bacteria-laden plaque which deposits on your teeth and commonly just below the gum line.

One of the prime reasons for an accumulation of plaque is due to a person’s eating habits. Many people I know are “snackers and nibblers” and enjoy regular snacks containing sugars and refined carbohydrates. Snacks may include fruit juices containing a high content of sugar, sweets or candy, biscuits, crackers, sweetened yoghurt, cola drinks and muesli bars. These foods provide  a tasty meal for the bacteria that live in the plaque in your mouth. For the next 20 to 30 minutes, acids form, and if your teeth are susceptible, then you could be well on your way towards a cavity., gum disease or even an abscess – all of which can cause that toothache.

Nursing That Aching Tooth

If you do have a toothache, then don’t be foolish enough to think you can “cure” it at home! This pain will NOT go away on its own and will need professional care. Pick up your phone and make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. When it comes to having a toothache, a “stitch in time saves nine” is absolutely true. The home remedies I offer here will help you tame that pain until you receive a professional assessment and treatment.

  • Floss – Do you floss your teeth daily? I once heard it said that you should only floss the teeth you decide to keep! Sometimes a tiny piece of food such as a popcorn husk may be lodged between two teeth and lie just under the gum line. This may be the cause of your toothache, so rinse your mouth with water throroughly and then floss. This may be all that is required to reduce the pain or even eliminate it entirely.
  • Ice – An ice pack applied to the outside of the mouth can bring immediate relief, and this was certainly very helpful for me when I was experiencing a toothache last year. It drove me crazy, and happened during a long weekend. You will need to experiment with heat or cold, as some toothaches respond better to heat, and others to cold. Heat may make the toothache worse. especially if the pain is throbbing and caused by inflammation.
  • Distraction – After one of my patients underwent a root canal, she told me that the pain was greatly reduced when she went for a long walk. I put the pain reduction down to distraction, and sometimes if you walk, swim or cycle after dental treatment or when you have a toothache, the pain may be reduced as you pay more attention to what you are doing, rather than focusing on the pain. And, thirty minutes of brisk exercise is generally enough to trigger the release of endorphins, a substance your body produces to reduce the pain in your body and increase the “feel good factor”.
  • Clove oil – Clove oil contains eugenol, a natural pain killer and antibacterial. There are a few ways you can use clove oil, but be warned, this stuff is potent! You can use it either neat (straight) if you are game or dilute it down with a bit of olive oil. If the pain is BAD – try neat but please keep it away from the eyes!
  • Dilute: Mix 2 to 3 drops of pure clove oil with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil. Saturate a small cotton ball with the mixture and place the cotton ball beside the tooth. If the toothache involves a larger tooth, such as a molar at the back of your mouth, a good trick is to bite down gently on the cotton ball to keep it in place. Leave it there for as long as possible (but don’t go to sleep with it in your mouth, you may swallow the cotton ball and choke.)
  • Neat: This is my favourite toothache solution. Apply a drop of pure clove oil (undiluted) to a cotton tip or bud, and gently touch the affected area for a few minutes. If the pain is relieved, then use a tiny piece of cotton ball (which you have soaked in olive oil) and gently push this into the affected area. Leave it there as long as possible, and this will “numb” the pain. Pain relief should begin quite rapidly.
  • Side effects of clove oil:  Undiluted clove oil inside the mouth can causing burning, tissue or nerve damage, and pain. In very large doses, clove oil taken orally can cause vomiting, sore throat, or worse. Clove oil shouldn’t be applied to broken skin, and DO NOT use with young children please! Children, pregnant or nursing women, and people with diabetes, kidney or liver disease or bleeding disorders should avoid taking clove oil.Consult your health care professional if you want to know more about clove oil, especially your naturopath.

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