You are cruising home from work on a busy Friday night, looking forward to a relaxing weekend filled with reading and some light sun bathing, and then an obnoxious toothache hits you out of nowhere. As you sit in the blaring traffic, you are bummed by the reality that your dentist will be out of the office until Monday, and may not have the time to see you for an emergency visit that day. And so you hope and pray that you can find something, anything to take the pain away. Fortunately, there are tried and true natural remedies for toothaches that are as easy to find as running water. Read on to discover four effective, natural ways to eliminate a toothache quickly.
Garlic: Not just for repelling mythical vampires, fragrant garlic has been used for thousands of years by many cultures for pain relief. Only found in garlic, the antibacterial drug, Allicin, is an active ingredient known its ability to cure toothaches. Start by cutting a large piece of garlic in half, lengthwise. Place the garlic over the tooth in question and gently bite down for 20 seconds. You may feel a slight burning sensation for up to a minute. This is normal. After that, your toothache will be gone.
Vanilla Extract: Sweet-smelling vanilla extract contains the powerful essential oil, Eugenol, which has both analgesic and antiseptic properties. Eugenol is the same active ingredient used in temporary fillings in the dental office. While imitation vanilla extract is widely used as an inexpensive alternative in baking recipes, it is ineffective in providing relief from a toothache. For best results, select only pure vanilla extract. You can apply the extract directly to the tooth with a cotton ball or Q-tip.
Cloves: Often used to add heat-packed flavor to spiced teas and ham, cloves are another natural ingredient that offer the healing power of Eugenol. Place two to three whole pieces of cloves inside of the mouth, closest to the affected tooth. To release the Eugenol, you will need to lightly chew on the clove pieces until they become soft. For best results, allow the cloves to sit in your mouth for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Ginger Root: Located in the produce aisle of most grocery stores, fresh ginger root is widely used as calming agent for toothaches. In order to reach the fibrous, fragrant root, you will first need to remove the outer brown skin with a sharp knife. Cut off a 1/2 inch piece of ginger and place it near the affected tooth. Lightly chew the ginger for 20 seconds to release the healing liquid.
Not all toothaches are indicative of tooth decay; in fact, most toothaches are caused by sensitivity to extremely hot or cold liquids or food that gets caught between teeth. However, if you have a toothache that returns after trying one of the above natural remedies, this could be a sign of a much bigger problem, such as a fractured tooth, decay or an impacted wisdom tooth. In this case, it’s important to see your dentist right away for an emergency exam, followed by an x-ray.