By Dr Hira M. Khan
For someone in pain, the offer of “instant relief” is an attractive proposition; it ‘instantly’ draws you into exploring ways for it. Here is a crucial lesson and an even better offer: “Permanent relief is better, and it is easily available.”
Let’s get one thing straight, you cannot FIX your tooth at home if it’s damaged to a certain extent. Your tooth could be hurting for a number of reasons, and in a few instances, the toothache is not even originating from the tooth! You need a dentist, and a diagnosis followed by the necessary treatment. With the tips mentioned below, you can only ‘numb’ or diminish the pain for the time being.
So here is my number one tip on fixing your toothache:
- Book a dentist’s appointment.
Now, how can you find some relief while you wait for your appointment?
- Use over-the-counter painkiller- Take any OTC painkiller that usually works for you. Ibuprofen is an excellent pain reliever. Take a tablet thrice in a day, for three days. It will help with pain, address any associated inflammation and swelling.
In case you are someone that avoids taking medicines, or is unable to take a certain medicine, there is no need to panic. There are several effectual, natural remedies for toothache. Tried and tested!
- Gargle with warm salt water; it works as an antiseptic, and an anti-inflammatory, hence relieves toothache. Salt water rinses are more effective in cases of gum infections and swellings.
-Here is how you do it: Add half teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Swish the prepared salt-water in your mouth and spit. Rinse your mouth like so 4-5 times daily.
- Use cold compresses against your cheek to induce numbing of the hurting area. Do not use ice directly against the tooth, a hurting tooth may have heightened sensitivity, in which case the pain will only get worse.
-For cold compresses, you can use a bag of frozen peas, or a Ziploc bag with half water, and half ice.
- Place a clove against the hurting tooth. The extracts from it have a numbing capability. An alternative is to use clove oil on the affected area. Clove oil works best when applied directly to the cavity, where it can much easily come in contact with the exposed nerves.
[TIP: In case there is swelling along with pain, sleep with your head in an elevated position. This will keep the swelling under control to some extent. Dropping of the head to the level of, or below the heart can worsen the swelling.]
REMEMBER that the last four tips are for temporary relief and cannot be relied upon for a longer period of time. Book yourself a dentist’s appointment. It would be great if you co monitor the following things before you finally see your dentist:
- The type of pain.
- The frequency of pain.
- What triggers it?
- Does the pain die out on its own?
- Is there an accompanying swelling?
- Do you have a fever?
- Does it exclusively hurt when you bite?