Almost everyone has at some time or the other experienced the throbbing, searing pain of a toothache. A toothache can be one of the most debilitating bodily complaints, interfering with a person’s ability to function and their peace of mind. If you’re suffering from a toothache, there are several things you can do to find safe, fast relief.
Taking an over-the-counter painkiller is perhaps the most common and intuitive remedy for a toothache, yet not all painkillers are created equal. Painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen are blood thinners and should be avoided by anyone about to undergo surgery, pregnant women, individuals who have a bleeding disorder, and people who are already taking another blood-thinning drug (e.g., for a heart condition). Alternatives include paracetamol and Panadol, and topical pain relievers such as Oragel and Anbesol. It should be noted that painkillers are not the ideal solution for treating a toothache since their pain-numbing effect wears off after a while, and also, because they do not treat the root cause of a toothache.
Often overlooked, natural home remedies can take the sting out of disabling tooth pain. Rinsing with warm salt water, applying ground garlic or cloves (or clove/garlic oil) to the tooth, chewing guava tree leaves, and chewing raw onion are all commonly recommended home remedies for toothaches.
While it may be comforting to know that you can get fast relief from tooth pain, it is true that the best solution for permanently and effectively resolving toothache troubles is to visit your dentist and have the tooth professionally examined and treated. A toothache is typically a sign that the underlying dentin layer of the tooth has become exposed, and the sensitive nerve endings inside the tooth have become irritated and inflamed. There may also be some infection of the pulp, gum tissues and even the jaw bone, a serious condition called a dental abscess.
Dental treatment for a toothache usually involves draining the infected tooth and restoring the eroded enamel with a dental filling. A root canal may also be performed to remove dead and infected tissues inside the pulp chamber, and in cases of severe infection a tooth extraction may be required.
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