If you’re prone to toothaches, then you know just how agonising and frustrating they can be.
Your toothache could be caused by a range of issues from cavities or infection to tooth rot, cracked teeth and gum disease.
Constantly relying on painkillers to numb the pain can be expensive, as can regular trips to the dentist.
What happens if you run out of pain killers or can’t make it to the dentist?
Is there something you can take or use in the meantime?
Well it turns out, there are many natural remedies for toothaches.
Here are 10 natural remedies you might find in your cupboard at home.
Read more: Five of nature’s best pain killers
You might remember former prime minister Tony Abbott biting into the raw onion? Well, maybe he had a toothache. Apparently onions have antiseptic properties that can provide relief from pain and kill germs that cause infections in your mouth. Try chewing on raw onion for a few minutes at the first sign of having a toothache. Alternatively, you can place a piece of raw onion directly on the gum or tooth giving you pain.
Typically putting garlic in your mouth will give you bad breath, but it can also be an immense source of pain relief from toothaches. That’s because garlic has antibiotic properties that work wonders for pain relief. Just like using the onion, there are two ways garlic can work to ease your toothache. You can mix crushed garlic or garlic powder with salt and apply it directly to the tooth or gum giving you pain, or you can chew a garlic clove or two to relieve the pain. To make sure you’re getting the best relief from pain, you should trying using garlic for a few days.
3. Salt and pepper
If you don’t have onion or garlic in your cupboard, reach for the salt and pepper instead. Both salt and pepper have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, making them great pain relievers for your mouth. Instead of pouring salt and pepper in your mouth, you actually mix it up into a paste. Mix an equal amount of salt and pepper with a some water, mix into a paste and apply it to the tooth or gum that is aching. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and continue to do this for a few days.
Like any pain, toothaches can be numbed with ice. There are several ways you can use ice to ease your toothache. Try wrapping an ice cube in plastic and a thin cloth and applying it to your sore tooth for 15 minutes. If you don’t want to put ice in your mouth, try placing an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel on your cheek. According to an old wives tale, if you massage your hand with an ice cube it’ll relieve your toothache. All you have to do is wrap an ice cube in a tea towel and massage that area between your thumb and forefinger.
Peppermint is well known as a pain reliever in various forms, which is why drinking peppermint tea is great for relieving toothaches. Just add on teaspoon of peppermint leaves to a cup of boiling water and leave it sit for 20 minutes. Once it cools, swish it around in your mouth and spit it out or swallow it. Strong black tea can also reduce pain and swelling. Tea bags are also great at relieving pain, simply place a warm, wet tea bag on your sore tooth.
6. Salt Water
All it takes is a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a cup of a boiling water to ease your toothache. Salty water makes for a great pain-killing mouthwash, reducing swelling, cleansing the area around the tooth and cleaning away debris that might be irritating your teeth and gums. Simply swish the water in your mouth for 30 seconds and spit it out. The beauty of this treatment is it’s fast, and you can repeat it as often as you need.
Read more: 23 unexpected ways to use toothpaste
7. Vinegar and a brown paper bag
It seems a bit strange, but vinegar and a brown paper bag can actually distract you from your tooth pain. According to this country cure, soak a small piece of brown paper in vinegar, sprinkle some black pepper on one side and hold it to your cheek. It’ll give your cheek a warm sensation that will keep your mind off your sore tooth.
8. Vanilla essence
Due to its alcohol volume, vanilla essence is a useful pain reliever. All you need to do is soak a cotton ball in vanilla essence and hold it on your sore tooth or gums for a few minutes to relieve the pain.
9. Lemons or limes
Citrus fruits such as lemons and limes are great pain relievers for toothaches. With their high citric acid and Vitamin C content, these fruits get rid of bacteria and boost your immune system to fight toothache-causing bacteria. Just cut the lemon or lime into slices, bit into them to release the juice and put them on your sore tooth or gums.
Roots such as ginger make perfect pain relievers due to their anti-inflammatory abilities. All you need to do is take a piece of fresh ginger and chew it. It’s as simple as that.
While natural remedies such as these are great at relieving pain, they should not be used as the single way of treating your toothache. If your pain persists, you should definitely see a dentist.