Parents and grandparents always seem keen to pass down all sorts of home remedies from one generation to the next. For instance, as kids we have heard the old wives’ tale about natural spices providing pain relief for toothaches. However, when you’re suffering from sharp pain, it seems ridiculous that a type of spice could potentially provide any kind of pain relief in that situation.
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Depending on your case, the pain and discomfort can vary. For some it’s extremely difficult to drink a glass of water let alone get through a meal without experiencing some form of pain in their teeth. This is why people tend to search for quick fixes. But do any of these actually work?
According to the National Health Service, toothaches cannot be cured with antibiotics. However, the American Dental Association states that dentists often hear patients mention the use of oil of cloves.
Our hygienist, Rahleh Mahtabpour uncovers common concerns and possible remedies to toothaches through a series of frequently asked questions.
What are the symptoms and main causes of toothaches?
The symptoms of toothaches usually consist of either sharp or dull pain in or around a tooth. The most common cause of a toothache is a dental cavity. Another cause can be related to gum problems such as a gum infection, gum recession or enamel wear.
Are there any particular spices that help with toothaches?
Yes, the following have proved to provide a sense of relief from toothaches:
- Cloves (grounded clove or clove oil)
- Echinacea tea
- Essential oil-yarrow (a chilla milefolium)
What do each of the mentioned spices do in relation to toothaches?
Oil of cloves or eugenol is often used by the dentist as it is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory liquid. The dentist often applies it to the patient’s gums to kill germs and relieve the pain after tooth extractions. Clove oil as well as cinnamon, basil and nutmeg oils that contain eugenol are used in mouthwashes, toothpastes, soaps as well as some medication. In my opinion, fresh Echinacea root is the best toothache remedy. A few drops of tea tree essential oil can be infused in water and used to clean your mouth as a form of mouthwash. This solution can give rapid relief to inflamed gums. Another quick fix would be yarrow, as it helps relieve toothaches. You can apply the fresh root or leaves to your gums or teeth in order to ease your discomfort.
When people use spices to numb their toothaches, can it be considered as a permanent or temporary solution?
Spices can be considered as a temporary treatment. After applying the temporary remedy it’s best to visit the dentist right away. Due to the fact that a toothache could be a symptom of something more serious, like an infection.
What’s the long-term solution to toothaches?
The key to preventing toothaches is establishing a regular oral hygiene routine. Brush twice a day after meals and floss at least once a day. Visit your dentist and dental hygienist for regular check-ups and professional dental cleaning sessions.
Any suggestions on how to avoid toothaches for people with sensitive teeth?
- Change your toothbrush to a soft brush to avoid gum receding and enamel wear.
- Use the recommended technique to brush. Seek advice from your dentist/dental hygienist if you’re unsure.
- Use toothpaste specially formulated to care for sensitive teeth.
- Avoid acidic food and drinks.
Dental Hygienist, Canada
Certified iTOP Instructor
Dr. Michael's Orthodontic Center, Dubai