Living with a bad toothache can be a nightmare. You can rely on painkillers to alleviate it for a while but a lot of people nowadays are reluctant to taking any pain medication because of its unwanted side effects. The good news is that there are alternatives. They might not be effective 100% but they have been proven to work for many people, so it’s always worth giving them a try. The bad news is that none of these remedies can get rid of the toothache for good. I don’t want to make it sound dramatic, but, no matter what you do, you will end up in the dentist’s chair.
1. Put a drop of clove oil on an ear-bud and dab the decayed tooth with it.
2. Use a gel pack. When nothing else works, a gel pack makes miracles. Try both cold and warm to see which one works best for you. When you have an infection and the place is swollen, cold might work better. For a general toothache relieve and a comforting effect, a warm gel pack is ideal.
3. Gently massage the gum above the tooth that is aching. Do it in small circular motions, without pressing too hard, then slowly extend the movements to the gums of the surrounding teeth and further on to your temples, neck and ear lobes.
4. Rinse your mouth with warm salty water. Salt has been known for its beneficial health effects since ancient times and it is still used today to prevent infections and speed up the healing process.
5. Don’t neglect your dental hygiene. Brush your teeth regularly with a minty tooth paste, as mint has a cooling and soothing effect and can temporarily ease your toothache.
6. Floss gently to get rid of any food particles stuck in the tooth or in between the teeth.
7. You can also use a garlic clove on your aching tooth. Garlic is a strong natural pain killer and, just like clove oil, it provides an instant relief.
8. Try to relax and have a good sleep. Sleep is the best medicine and an ideal relief for any pain, especially nerve pain. A really bad toothache can keep you awake for nights in a row, but if you manage to go to sleep, you will give the nerve in your tooth a chance to calm down.
9. I’ve often heard people say ‘Take your mind off it and it will go away.’ My own experience has taught me something completely different. It is very hard, if not impossible, to ignore a severe toothache. Paradoxically, sometimes it helps to focus on the pain and try to isolate it to the little spot where it occurs. A toothache causes a general state of discomfort and it makes you feel like your whole body is suffering with it. By concentrating on the pain, you train your mind to take control of it and not to extend it any further. After all, your tooth takes only a small percentage of your body.
10. Keep a positive outlook on things. When you try to fight your toothache in your mind, you will eventually become exhausted and you will end up with even less resources to cope with the pain. It’s like fighting a negative sensation with another negative sensation. Try to relax – I know it’s very difficult, but not impossible. Try to develop a sort of detachment in relationship with the pain. Explore it, analyze it, define its borders. Repeat to yourself that it won’t last forever. It is just another experience and another opportunity for you to explore the multiple facets of life.
11. Remember that getting rid of the symptom won’t get rid of the cause and the pain will keep coming back until you go to a dentist and have the tooth treated properly. If you are scared of the dentist, here is a good encouragement for you: No matter what the dentist does to your tooth, it won’t hurt you any more than what you’ve already been through.