There are a lot of tooth pain remedies out there today - many of which only mask the pain of a toothache without getting to the root cause. Actually, most tooth pain is attributable to problems in the tooth's root structure.
In this case, the root structure of a tooth includes the underlying pulp as well as nerves and blood vessels. Now, the tooth can be said to be broken down between the crown - i.e., a patient's enamel and dentin - and the root - i.e., the underlying pulp, nerves and blood vessels.
The majority of dental problems that cause patients the most discomfort are attributable to some kind of problem in the tooth's root structure or in the functionality of the gums that encase the teeth. That said, a wearing away of a patient's enamel or gum issues like gingivitis can certainly cause pain and exacerbate dental problems.
Root Causes of Tooth Pain
Tooth pain might actually be caused by a number of factors ranging from tooth decay (very common cause) to less common causes like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
A localized infection, unchecked gum disease, tooth decay or recent injury could all cause, or worsen, tooth pain. Of course, patients might instantly know the cause of their tooth pain since it arose right after a tooth extraction or a dental crown in need of replacement.
A good percentage of tooth pain, though, can be brought back to a patient's nerve, in the root structure of the tooth, being irritated. Another, related, root cause of tooth pain is an inflammation in the patient's pulp, which itself contains nerve endings and is located right under a patient's dentin.
Five Facts about Tooth Pain Remedies
Right off the bat it's important to realize that patients can forestall a good deal of dental problems and take matters into their own hands. Brushing and flossing daily as well as checking in with the dentist at least twice annually for a checkup and cleaning is recommended. Sedation dentists can make the experience that much less stressful.
- Fact #1: Tooth pain can be spotted early
Sedation dentists can also use tools like panoramic radiographs to diagnose potential problems, often before patients themselves know that they're susceptible.
Then again, if patients are experiencing the tell-tale signs of tooth decay in the form of hot-cold sensitivities while eating and painful chewing, then immediate treatment is probably required to deal with the problem.
An injury or bleeding gums, which can both exacerbate tooth pain, also call for an immediate dental appointment.
- Fact #2: Toothaches can be (temporarily) controlled
Many patients use Advil or Tylenol to control tooth pain before they can make it into the dentist's office. Of course, patients should discuss taking over-the-counter pain relief medication with their primary care physicians and/or favorite dentist since some of these pain relievers (e.g., Aspirin) can act as blood thinners and cause more issues vis-a-vis gum bleeding.
- Fact #3: Relieving stressors helps short term
That said, taking an OTC pain reliever for moderate tooth pain can work for many patients until a dental appointment.
Steering clear of foods that require heavy chewing or very hot/cold drinks that worsen a patient's tooth pain are also good practices.
Surprisingly, some patients have even found success in temporarily mitigating their tooth pain by taking on home remedies.
- Fact #4: Home remedies work holistically
Two surprising, yet effective, tooth pain remedies for temporarily reducing discomfort and swelling are cloves and salt water. Cloves are simply the bud from an evergreen tree commonly used as a spice. So, how can cloves help with controlling tooth pain?
Well, cloves have both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities that help to bring down swelling in the gums. Cloves also have natural anesthetic qualities that can cut off the nerve's pain response and lead to a good night's sleep for patients suffering through tooth pain. Best of all, cloves have the ability to mitigate localized dental infections until patients get into the dentist.
Mixing salt, preferably sea salt, with warm water can also effectively bring down inflammation and swelling. Gargling with salt water can also reduce the presence of harmful bacteria that might possibly worsen the infection.
- Fact #5: Professional assistance is only long-term fix
When over-the-counter pain medications aren't noticeably dulling your tooth pain, or if patients have recently experienced an injury, then it might be time to see a sedation dentist, according to the experts.
A dental abscess, for instance, might necessitate a treatment of antibiotics and endodontic draining, if the problem is severe. Of course, the best tooth pain remedy is daily brushing and flossing and regular screenings from a qualified, friendly dental team.