Toothache can happen at the time when you cannot get to see the dentist and toothache can be very painful and disruptive and it prevents one from carrying out his/her daily activities. Serious toothache often happens at night, causing extreme discomfort and loss of sleep. When a toothache becomes unbearable, people will usually treat it with over the counter pain killers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. Other than pain killers are there any natural tooth pain relief methods that we can use?
Learn From Our Ancestors
Long before synthetic pain killers were invented, ancient people used different types of herbs, barks and roots as natural tooth pain relief. They know how to find the right plants that provide them cures for their ailments and aches. People from the early civilisations are known for how to use different kinds of medicinal plants for dental treatments.
Roman doctors had used marshmallow to treat toothaches and other ailments such as inflammation, insect bites and sore throats. The marshmallow is not the confectionery that everyone is familiar with. It is a herbal plant native to Europe, north Africa and western Asia. It is found in wet and marshy or swampy areas and that is how the name of the plant is derived. Early Egyptians made a sweet from the sap of the root mixed with honey. The marshmallow sweet today originated from this ancient Egyptian treat, however, marshmallow root juice is no longer used as the main ingredient.
Summer savory or throubi in Greek is a popular spice used in many cuisines. The plant is found commonly in the Mediterranean but it can also thrive in regions in the northern hemisphere. The flowers of this herb bloom in the summer months from July to September. Greeks in the Middle Ages used this herb to treat toothaches and ulcers.
Mexico is rich in medicinal plants and thus the use of herbs and spices are commonly found in folklore remedies especially during the times of the Aztec and Maya empires. Medicinal plants are widely used by the Mexicans to treat oral diseases and other dental problems. To treat toothache, the Mayans used the root of a Mexican poppy plant called Argemone munita, otherwise commonly known as Chicalote. This species of poppy is found in Mexico but today it is also grown in other parts of the world. Traditional medicine healers in North Indian also use the seeds of Chicalote to cure toothache.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of traditional medicine that has been practised in China for more than 3,000 years although no clear written record of the medical technique until the early second century BC. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses techniques such as acupuncture, acupressure and a concoction of medicinal plants and dried animal parts to cure various types of diseases and ailments. Ways to relief toothache used by Chinese physicians include acupressure and application of ginger, garlic or ginseng on the tooth.
Try Herbal Remedies For Tooth Pain Relief
Over the counter pain killers and other prescription medications are what is often used by conventional medicine. There are concerns about the safety issues and potential side effects of prolonged use of these synthetic drugs for chronic pain conditions.
Using natural ingredients such as herbs may be a better alternative as they do not have the kind of side effects experienced by synthetic drug users. Indigenous people use parts of many types of plant such as leaves, flowers, branches, roots and seeds to relieve pain and other ailments. Many of these herbal plants contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Herbal remedies not only provide us relief from pain but also give us other health benefits and prevents diseases such as diabetes, stroke and cancer.
Thus, when you have a toothache, instead of reaching out for your painkillers, try applying one of the following herbal remedies:
Since the early civilisation, garlic has been used as medicine to treat various ailments. Today is commonly used in cooking and as a garnish, making the food delicious. Garlic contains an amino acid called allicin which is released when the garlic is crushed or chopped. Allicin is known for its anti-inflammation and antioxidant benefits. Thus, garlic is a good natural pain reliever.
To help relieve your tooth pain, grind a clove of fresh garlic into a paste apply it on to the affected tooth or otherwise chew on a piece of garlic.
Onions are an important ingredient in cooking various types of dishes. But do you know that they contain antibacterial properties? Yes, onions contain a plant pigment called quercetin, which is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, raw onions can help eliminate the bacteria in your mouth and provide relief for your toothache.
To help with your tooth pain, put a piece of raw onion on your affected tooth. This may be difficult to do for some people as the onion may cause your eyes to tear.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Asian cooking. Besides being an aromatic spice cherished by Asian chefs, turmeric also has many medicinal properties due to the presence of a chemical compound called curcumin. Curcumin has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, curcumin can prevent infections, reduce swelling and stop the toothache.
To help relieve tooth pain, mix some turmeric powder with some water and put it on to the affected tooth.
4. Chilli Pepper or Cayenne Pepper
Capsaicin is an active component found in chilli peppers that is responsible for the burning sensation when the pepper is eaten or rubbed on the skin. Capsaicin is anti-inflammatory and analgesic and therefore, it is an ingredient commonly used in pain relief topical cream. Capsaicin can help to reduce nerve pain. The Mayans are said to have used chilli peppers to cure their toothaches.
To relieve your tooth pain, mix chilli powder or crushed cayenne pepper with water and put it on the painful tooth. You can also rub pepper on the tooth or chew on pepper, although not everyone can withstand the burning sensation from chewing on pepper.
Ginger is a flowering plant originated from China and Southeast Asia and is now grown in many parts of the world. Its roots commonly called ginger is used as a spice for cooking. Not only is it a spice, but it also has medicinal properties and the Chinese had been using it to treat various ailments for thousands of years. Three powerful and pungent compounds: gingerols, zingerone and shogaols are found in ginger. These three compounds contain antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Therefore, chewing a piece of raw ginger helps to reduce bacteria in the mouth and alleviate your tooth pain.
Herbal remedies may not be suitable for everyone as some people are allergic to certain types of herbs. Avoid using any of these herbal remedies if you have any known allergy to it. Do exercise caution if you have not taken any of these types of herbs before. Some herbs do interfere with medication such as blood-thinning drugs and other cardiovascular drugs. If you are taking any prescription medication, it is advisable to consult your doctor before consuming any of these herbs.
Essential Oils to Relieve Toothache
Essential oils are commonly used in aromatherapy. But they are also found in personal care and house cleaning products. Essential oils mostly derived from herbal plants and are used to treat a lot of ailments including toothache. The following essential oils can help to relieve tooth pain are:
1. Clove Oil
Cloves are dried aromatic flower buds of a tree native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia and are commonly used as a spice in Asian and African cuisines. Cloves are known to be used in traditional Chinese medicine as early as 240 BC. Clove contains eugenol, an active compound that is both anaesthetic and antiseptic. Thus, clove is popularly used to relieve toothache as its antiseptic properties help to kill the bacteria in the mouth and prevent infection.
To heal tooth pain, dip cotton ball or swab in clove oil and applied it to the affected tooth. Alternatively, you can also add a drop of clove oil to a glass of water and use it as a gargle.
2. Peppermint Oil
The peppermint plant is a hybrid between watermint and spearmint and is native to Europe and the Middle East. Peppermint contains menthol, an active ingredient that not only freshens your breath but helps to relieve toothache due to its strong anti-bacterial properties.
To help ease your tooth pain, apply 3 to 4 drops of peppermint directly on the tooth or gum. Or soak a cotton ball with peppermint oil and rub the oil on the tooth.
3. Thyme Oil
Thyme is a small garden herb that originated from southern Mediterranean. The ancient Eygptians use thyme for embalming as well as a pain reliever. Today, it is widely used in cooking as a seasoning together with other spices like rosemary and sage. Thyme has an active ingredient called thymol which has antimicrobial properties. Thus, thyme essential oil is one natural way to relieve tooth pain.
To help alleviate your toothache, add a few drops of thyme oil with some water onto a cotton ball and apply it onto your tooth. You can also make a mouthwash by adding a drop of thyme oil to a glass of water.
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts and therefore caution should be exercised when using them. Some people may develop side effects from applying the oil directly onto the skin. Use the patch test to determine if you are allergic to the essential oil. To prevent an adverse reaction, dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil.
It’s A Relief Not A Cure
Getting rid of tooth pain is a relief and not a cure. The above mentioned methods for tooth pain relief are just temporary measures to help you get through the day or night. A severe toothache is an indication of bad tooth decay as the bacteria had punched through the dentin and exposing the pulp and root of the tooth. In this case, you will need to see a dentist to get your teeth treated and the proper guidance to prevent future tooth decay.
Have you tried any of these natural tooth pain relief remedies before? Do share with us your experience with using natural remedies for oral health in the comments below.