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Medically referred to as odontalgia, tooth pain is more likely to affect those who don't follow a proper dental hygiene regimen. Pain in and around a tooth can affect people of all age groups. The intensity of pain could vary from mild to severe. It could be constant or intermittent. A host of dental problems could give rise to tooth pain. An assessment of the underlying cause is essential for alleviating pain and other accompanying symptoms.
Contributory Factors to Toothache
Tooth Decay
tooth decay
Dental caries, which refers to tooth decay, is one of the most common reasons behind toothache in children and adults. Excruciating pain may be felt if a tooth infection gives rise to a dental abscess. A dental abscess is characterized by a collection of pus in the affected tooth.
Pulpitis
pulpitis diagram
Pulpitis is another dental condition which is characterized by the inflammation of the dental pulp, which is located inside the pulp chamber that is present in the center of the tooth. Pulp is the soft connective tissue that contains the nerves and the blood vessels. When the decay reaches the nerves, the affected individual is likely to experience a throbbing pain.
Loss of Enamel
toothpain
The loss of tooth enamel (hard outer layer that covers the crown) and dentin (tissue underlying the enamel) can also cause tooth sensitivity. Other contributory factors for pain include bruxism (habit of grinding teeth), cracked tooth syndrome, eruption of wisdom teeth, periodontal disease, or temporomandibular disease.
Remedies for Tooth Pain
Though over-the-counter pain medication can be taken to get relief from pain, it would be best to consult a dentist in event of damage to the structure of the tooth. A visit to the dentist would also be required if pain is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, headache, or swelling around the affected tooth. However, you can follow certain natural remedies for temporary pain relief.
Clove Oil
clove oil
Clove oil has long been used for treating tooth pain. To get relief from pain, you just need to soak a clean cotton ball in a few drops of clove oil and put it near the affected tooth. Clove oil contains a chemical called eugenol. This chemical has anesthetic properties. Putting it around the affected tooth will numb the area, thereby providing relief from pain. Cloves are also antibacterial in nature. Thus, using clove oil will help in lowering the risk of bacterial infections.
Onion and Garlic
onion& garlic
Dental infections can occur when bacteria act on food debris that is lodged between the teeth. Since onions are known to possess bactericidal properties, placing a slice of onion on the affected tooth for a few minutes can prove beneficial. Crushed garlic cloves contain allicin, which is an organosulfur compound that has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Chewing garlic could help in alleviating pain to some extent.
Asafoetida
asafoetida
Asafoetida is a gum resin that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is believed to have therapeutic properties. It can be used to get relief from toothache. To follow this remedy, you need to make a paste by mixing a pinch of asafoetida with a few drops of lemon juice. Soak a clean cotton ball in this paste and apply to the affected tooth.
Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract
The therapeutic properties of vanilla extract are also due to the presence of eugenol. In order to use vanilla extract for toothache, you need to dip a cotton swab in a few drops of pure vanilla extract and apply it on the affected tooth.
Wheatgrass
wheatgrass
Wheatgrass is rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and iron. It also contains phytonutrients that are responsible for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Using a wheatgrass mouthwash could prove to be effective in preventing dental caries.
Saline Solution
salt
Gargling with warm saline solution is an age-old home remedy for alleviating tooth pain. Swishing warm saline solution in the mouth may help in reducing swelling. It may also provide relief from pain.
Herbal Tea
chamomile tea
Herbal infusions such as chamomile tea or peppermint tea can help provide relief from toothache. Flowers of the spilanthes plant can also be used to relieve tooth pain. Echinacea tincture and yarrow herb can prove beneficial in treating tooth and gum problems.
Warm/Cold Compresses
cold compress
Application of warm or cold compresses may prove beneficial in alleviating pain and swelling. Wrap an ice pack in a clean towel and place it over the affected side. You can also place a used, warm tea bag over your cheek. The tannins that are present in tea will help in numbing the area, thereby providing temporary relief.
Though taking painkillers may seem to be the best option when it comes to dealing with toothaches, it's definitely not the best treatment option. The underlying cause of pain needs to be identified and treated. The best approach would be to consult a dentist at the earliest. It is also essential to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day. Do go for dental checkups at least twice a year.
Disclaimer: The information provided is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a dentist.