Alternative Toothache Remedies
For those that find themselves with an awful toothache, it can be hard to concentrate on anything other than the pain. To be sure, having a toothache is not fun and can be very distracting from the needs of day-to-day life. Add to that, going to the dentist is expensive. If one has a toothache, but doesn’t want to go to the dentist, it may be possible to use an alternative toothache remedy to attain temporary relief.
What alternative toothache remedies are recommended?
There are several toothache remedies that have grown popular, but of those only a few actually have any beneficial effect on relief of tooth pain. If a person is in pain, it is recommended he or she try one (or all) of the following for relief:
- Take an Aspirin, Tylenol or other over-the-counter pain reliever. This is going to be the most effective method of pain relief at home.
- Rub clove oil on the affected tooth. Clove oil contains eugenol, which is a mild anesthetic. Eugenol is actually used by dentists to temporarily relieve pain. While this chemical is usually put directly over the pulp (the part of the tooth that is actually hurting) by drilling close to it, some pain relief is possible if you use it topically. When pain is radiating, it can be very difficult to know which tooth is actually hurting. The entire right side of the jaw may be in pain, making treatment of the ache very difficult. When this happens, it is best to be liberal in application of the clove oil. For best practice, put the oil on a cotton ball and lightly “chew” on it at the affected area.
- Rub a hot tea bag on the area. This may provide some instant (albeit temporary) relief of the pain.
If pain relief is not achieved by using one of the above methods, it may be time to go to a dentist. While saving money by treating pain with alternative toothache remedies is sometimes smart, a more permanent solution will require going to the dentist.
Dentist vs. alternative toothache remedies – which option to choose
While going to the dentist is usually not fun, it may be the only choice for those in extreme tooth pain. The dentist is more expensive than alternative methods, but also more permanent. Almost always, tooth pain cannot be cured using alternative toothache remedies; they require professional health care. But there are some instances when alternative methods will work:
- When pain is simply inflammation of the root after a dental procedure. If after going to the dentist, a person experiences some sensitivity to cold or heat, it may simply be the pulp, which is where the nerve of the tooth is located, inflaming and causing some mild discomfort. If the pulp has not been damaged irreversibly during the procedure, the swelling will eventually go down and pain will subside.
- After cleaning of the teeth. To get all the plaque off, a dentist and/or hygienist must scrape the teeth. This includes the part of the teeth underneath the gum. This can cause some mild bleeding and soreness for a few days. This is superficial pain and does not imply any problem with the teeth.
- After trauma to a tooth. If a tooth is hit during an accident and is now painful, this may subside with time. Only after a couple weeks can a definitive diagnosis be made on whether the tooth will be salvageable. If it can’t be saved, it may need to be pulled and replaced with a dental prosthesis. Having a root canal on the tooth may also be an option if it is not too loose.
There are also many instances when going to the dentist for treatment is the only option for pain relief. When a cavity, which is caused by bacteria breaking down the tooth structure, gets too big and makes its way into the pulp chamber, the damage may be irreversible. The pulp chamber is where the nerve of the tooth is located and where pain is felt. When the bacteria start breaking down the nerve fibers, this is felt as pain. When this happens, the only way to stop this pain is to either pull the tooth or get a root canal.
A root canal involves cleaning out the nerve and other fibers that are inside the tooth. After a root canal, there should be no more long-term pain associated with the tooth. Unfortunately, this option can cost from $800 to $2000, depending on the affected tooth. Anterior teeth are on the lower end of the range, while posterior teeth are on the upper end.
Finding pain relief the most economical way
Choosing to use alternative toothache remedies may be a choice made based on budget. If this is the case, sometimes it may be best to weigh the options before choosing treatment. While going with alternative toothache remedies may be the right choice (and the cheapest one, no doubt), there are instances when going to the dentist may be the only way to achieve pain relief.
When finding one’s self in this position, it may be possible to save some money and still getting professional care. Most aren’t aware, but there is some leeway at many dentists’ office when it comes to the fees they charge. If a person needs a root canal on an inflamed tooth, there are many dentists who will work with the patient so they can both afford the treatment and also not break the bank. For a person on a budget, this may be great option. It never hurts to ask the dentist if there is any way to negotiate for a lower rate. At the very least, there are usually payment plan options available.
In the end, using alternative toothache remedies may be the perfect choice for some. For others, it may not provide the needed pain relief. Using the above information, one should weigh their situation and options to decide which choice is going to work best for them.