There are many urban myths about how to cure toothache. While some home remedies may provide short-term relief, most are ineffective and can worsen the problem. We’ll discuss the most common myths and what works to treat toothache.
Myth: Rinse your mouth with salt water
Salt water may help to relieve pain and swelling, but it will not cure the underlying infection. Rinsing your mouth with salt water can worsen pain by irritating the inflamed tissues.
Instead, try rinsing your mouth with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda. This home remedy can help to neutralize acids, reduce inflammation, and kill bacteria.
Myth: Apply a cold compress
Applying it to the outside of your cheek may help to numb the pain temporarily, but it’ll not speed up the healing process. Applying a cold compress for too long can damage the skin and tissue around the tooth.
If you want to use a cold compress, be sure to wrap it in a thin cloth, so it doesn’t come into direct contact with your skin. Leave it on for no longer than 20 minutes at a time.
Myth: Place a piece of onion on the affected tooth
Onions have natural antibacterial properties that can help to kill the bacteria causing your toothache. However, the sulfur compounds in onions can also irritate your gums and soft tissue, making the pain worse.
If you decide to try this, place the onion on a clean cloth so it doesn’t directly contact your gums. Leave it on for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
Myth: Apply a paste of baking soda and water
Baking soda’s a natural antacid that can neutralize acids, reduce inflammation, and kill bacteria. For this reason, many believe that applying a paste of baking soda and water to the affected tooth will help relieve pain and speed up the healing process.
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to form a thick paste to make a baking soda paste. Apply it to the affected tooth and leave it on for no more than 10 minutes. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after 10 minutes.
Myth: Place a raw garlic clove on the affected tooth
Garlic has many known natural antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help to kill the bacteria causing your toothache. Additionally, garlic is a potent source of sulfur compounds that can help to reduce inflammation.
If you decide to try this, be sure to place the garlic clove on a clean cloth so that it doesn’t come into direct contact with your gums. Leave it on for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
Myth: Swish oil around your mouth
Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy that involves swishing oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes to help detoxify the body and kill bacteria. While this home remedy may provide some relief from pain and inflammation, there is no scientific evidence to support its efficacy.
If you try oil pulling, use a high-quality, edible oil such as coconut or sesame. Do not use oils not intended for human consumption, such as motor or vegetable oil.
Myth: Apply a raw egg to the affected tooth
Raw eggs are a good source of protein and vitamins that can help to speed up the healing process. Additionally, the fat in raw eggs can help to reduce inflammation.
If you decide to try this home remedy, be sure to apply the egg white to the affected tooth. The egg yolk contains cholesterol and other fats that can worsen the pain.
Myth: Rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide
It’s a powerful oxidizing agent that can kill bacteria and speed healing. For this reason, many believe that rinsing their mouth with hydrogen peroxide will help relieve pain and promote healing.
However, hydrogen peroxide is a strong chemical that can damage your teeth and gums if used too frequently. If you try this home remedy, dilute the hydrogen peroxide with water and rinse your mouth for no more than 30 seconds.
Myth: Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet benefits overall health, but no evidence suggests that it can help relieve pain or speed up the healing process. Certain meals, on the other hand, may assist in reducing inflammation and promote healing. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, and omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other cold-water fish.
Myth: Take over-the-counter pain medication
Over-the-counter pain management medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, these medications will not kill the bacteria causing your toothache. For this reason, you should use them in conjunction with other home remedies or professional dental treatment.
When using over-the-counter pain medication, follow the directions on the package—taking more medication than recommended can cause serious side effects.
While there are many urban myths about curing toothache, only a few of them have any scientific evidence to support their efficacy. If you are experiencing a toothache, see a dentist as soon as possible for a professional diagnosis and treatment plan.
CBD is a popular home remedy for many ailments, but does it work for a toothache? CBD is an active compound in the cannabis plant that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. There’s currently no scientific evidence to support the use of CBD for toothache. If you try this remedy, purchase high-quality CBD oil from a reputable source.