What To Do When A Tooth Hurts
When a tooth hurts, it can usually mean one of two things. Either there is a problem with the tooth itself, most likely a due to a cavity, unless the tooth has been broken, or there is a gum problem near or around the tooth. If the problem is with the tooth, a visit to the dentist in the near future is a likely prospect. Cavities don't heal themselves, nor do other things that may be affecting the nerve endings located in the tooth's inner pulp.
When a tooth hurts because the surrounding tissue, or the gums are inflamed, swollen, or have become infected, there are a number of steps that can be taken, not only to provide relief, but in some instances successfully treat the problem. Many people suffer from gingivitis, inflammation of the gums, a condition that is normally preventable, treatable, and curable, often through the use of proper tooth cleaning techniques, oral hygiene, and using home remedies.
Whenever a tooth hurts, whether it's something that you can treat on your own, or is something only a dentist can handle, there are nevertheless a number of different ways you can get immediate relief from the pain. The list is longer than you may think, and your choice may narrow down to a few things you are willing to put in your mouth. Not all pain relievers have a nasty taste, in fact some are quite pleasant tasting.
Ice, Pressure, And Much More - Two approaches that usually provide at least short term relief are ice packs and pressure. Ice, or something very cold tends to numb nerve endings, consequently reducing pain. Applying pressure to the painful area can often help as well, though the relief is usually quite temporary and in some cases pressure may cause even more pain. You can either press against your cheek, or in some case press against the gums with your tongue. Pressure may at least be helpful during the time you are traveling to your dentist. Another thing you can do is put a slice or chunk of chilled cucumber on the painful spot. in addition to cooling nerve endings, cucumber has other properties which can work to lessen pain. Be careful if using a chunk of cucumber not to swallow it and get it caught in your windpipe.
Peppermint and real vanilla extract work, both having pain killing or numbing properties. Whiskey works too, but only when sloshing some around in your mouth, where it serves as a mild local anesthetic. If you drink enough of it the pain may go away too, to be replaced by a headache, and probably another toothache, the next day.
Salt can have a soothing effect, and using a saline water mixture as a mouthwash, perhaps several times a day, can not only relieve pain, but most importantly help in the battle against irritated gums or gingivitis. Sloshing a salt water solution around in your mouth on a daily basis is not a bad habit to get into.
Cloves And H202 - Cloves have pain killing properties. If a tooth hurts, just pressing a whole clove against it should provide relief. If you only have clove in powdered form, make a thick paste of powdered clove and olive oil and pack it around the tooth. Hydrogen peroxide also works well. Hydrogen peroxide is not toxic, but is not very good tasting either, and you really don't want to swallow it though it won't hurt you. Use it as a mouthwash and then spit it out. If the taste is as bad as advertised, you can dilute it in water. It will still be effective.
A Little Dab - There are some things which if taken in sufficient amounts can be toxic or at least give you a sick feeling, but are effective pain killers. These are generally liquids which you'll only want to use a drop or two of, or soak a cotton swab with them. These include vanilla extract, almond extract, tree tea oil, and iodine. Be particularly careful if using the latter.
There are other home remedies that work as well when a tooth hurts, including a raw potato, an onion, oats, or garlic. Any one of the above however should help, at least until you can get to the dentist.