Tooth pain can be intense, but many safe home remedies will make this common ailment easier to bear until you can get to a dentist. Experiment with these easily available products and simple lifestyle adjustments to see what works for you.
Easily Available Products for Tooth Pain
1. Take Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen or naproxen sodium are usually the top choices for dental pain because of their powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Most people can take these safely for up to 10 days unless a doctor or dentist gives other instructions.
2. Use any pain reliever as directed. Disregard any advice you may hear about crushing aspirin or other pain relievers and rubbing them on your gums. This can cause damage. Oral pain relievers need to be taken orally.
3. Gargle with salt water. Even if this feels uncomfortable at first, salt water will soothe irritated gums and promote healing. Mix a little salt in warm water and swish gently. You may find the taste unpleasant but resist the urge to rinse afterwards.
4. Drink water. Dryness is one common trigger for dental nerve pain. Drink plenty of water so you stay well hydrated.
5. Apply chewing gum. If you have an exposed dental nerve, pick up a package of any sugar free gum. Wrapping a little of it around the damaged tooth will help shield it from air and other irritants.
6. Rub on natural oils. Clove oil is an ancient remedy for tooth pain. Prolonged use may cause adverse side effects, but many dentists approve of it as a temporary measure. Peppermint oil works in a similar way.
7. Check out your drugstore dental aisle. Some people report positive results using mouthwash, toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth, and temporary filling kits. The same is true for gels that contain Benzocaine or other topical anesthetics.
Simple Lifestyle Adjustments for Toothaches
1. Apply heat or cold. Heat packs or bags of frozen vegetables wrapped in a washcloth can be held over the sore area. You’ll need to find the temperature that works for you. Just avoid extreme heat or cold that could damage your skin or aggravate an exposed nerve.
2. Sleep with your head elevated. Keeping your head up helps prevent additional blood from pooling in your gums and increasing sensitivity. Sleep in a lounge chair or use plenty of pillows.
3. Meditate. Meditation will train your mind to endure pain with more patience. If you’re a rookie to the practice, try just focusing your mind on another body part.
4. Relax your body. Your body naturally tenses up if you’re going through a difficult time. Hot baths, yoga, or massage may be soothing and distracting.
5. Avoid tobacco. All tobacco products irritate the tissues in your mouth. Plus, the sucking action used with a cigarette or even a drinking straw increases blood flow and puts more pressure on the sore area.
6. Limit snacking. Keeping your mouth clean of food particles will go a long way towards helping you stay comfortable. Try to eat fewer times each day. Immediately afterwards, brush and floss thoroughly.
7. Cut down on sugar. Sugar is especially harmful to your teeth. Cut out the sweets temporarily. Satisfy any cravings with sugar-free gum or tea sweetened with sugar substitutes.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups can help prevent tooth pain. Fortunately, if you’re already in pain, there are a variety of safe home remedies that often provide relief until your dentist can treat the underlying cause.
Most of us have our mothers to thank for our ingrained eating habits, exercise approach and self-image.
For me, it was a crazy, yoga-practicing, kale-eating great-grandmother.
Mud the Miracle-Great-Grandma
When I was little, “Mud” came to visit our family (my grandfather had difficulty pronouncing the German word for “mother,” and his abbreviated version stuck). My sister and I were hoping she would bring presents, cookies, maybe a Barbie or two.
But when she stepped off the plane from California, Mud was pulling a suitcase full of kale, fish oil, wheat berries and Meyer lemons.
Someone still owes me a Barbie.
Mud stuck out like a sore thumb… make that a strong, lithe, beautifully manicured thumb. She drank warm water and lemon all day long. I’ve never met anyone better at cheating at cards. She slept on a board and practiced yoga, decades before it was popular. Mud had perfect teeth, perfect posture, and an unrelenting dedication to whole foods. She looked 25 years younger than her peers and could lift her foot behind her head, as a great-grandmother.
This was a woman seriously in tune with her body. Mud figured out how to keep her body balanced, her metabolism humming, and her lifestyle rejuvenating.
Here’s the truth: Mud shouldn’t be the exception. We’ve all got the potential to be as youthful and energetic as Mud. You’ve heard this before from my friend, Dr. Lissa Rankin, and I’m going to help you get started today with my top 7 ways.
Centuries of Wisdom
With Mud as my inspiration, I’ve spent decades exploring the world of prevention, healing, and repair through nutrition and lifestyle. Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine prove that health can be managed through daily habits and natural remedies, from what we put in our mouths to when we close our eyes at night.
Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Bruno know how intelligent and adaptable our bodies are:
Cause you’re amazing, Just the way you are.
– Bruno Mars, Just The way You Are
As a practicing physician who’s worked with over 20,000 women, I know our bodies come with built-in systems designed to help us heal, manage, and live the max out of every hour, of every day. It makes sense, right? The more we own and care for our bodies, the more we’ll get out of them.
1. Work on Your Gut
Health, like beauty, really is an inside job: The zillions of bacteria that make up the microbial garden of your gut are your body’s first line of defense against infections and illness. Known as the microbiome of the gut, science is exploding with studies proving our bodies are designed – like some crazy robot of the future – to heal themselves. When they’re out of balance, bad bacteria start to cause problems, whether it comes from a virus or hormonal imbalance.
Own it: A healthy diet creates healthy bacteria, which turns you into an infection-fighting, cold-thwarting machine. Eat whole foods that balance your blood sugar and provide vitamins and minerals.
2. You Snooze, You Win (Create circadian congruence.)
Humans are designed to rise with the sun and to sleep when it’s dark. Seems a little obvious, but most us are guilty of late nights and days spent in an office. Sure, there are morning people and night owls, but your hormones are released according to your sleep/wake cycle.
Own it: Get your Circadian rhythm in order, and your body will produce the hormones you need whenyou need them. Do your best to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. Also remember that there’s no better way to wake up than to expose yourself to sunlight.
3. Exceptional Eating (+ Epigenetics)
If you need a frappucino and muffin to get through your day, that’s a sure sign your hormones are off, and bad news for your DNA (50-80% of how your genes are expressed are determined by how you eat, move, think, and supplement—a phenomenon called “epigenetics). Cravings for salt and sugar can be cries for help from your thyroid, your cortisol levels, or your even sleep cycle.
Own it: Create a diet high in whole foods, fiber, and water. Take a hormone quiz (you’ll see how at the end of this post) to see which aspects of your diet might be lacking.
4. Restore, Rejuvenate, Refresh
Accelerated aging, wrinkles, moodiness, low energy… these are all signs that your body hasn’t had a chance to repair itself. Cell repair is an important process that happens every night, but late bedtimes and not enough sleep are serious roadblocks.
Own it: I’m strict because I care: lights out by 10pm (at least 5 of 7 nights each week). Getting in bed by this time is the magic hour to facilitate repair benefit to your body, cells, and muscles. The ratio of catabolism (wear and tear) to anabolism (growth and repair) shifts while you sleep, and the hours before midnight are especially auspicious. This is how to avoid Botox. Do it.
5. Symptoms Are Not a Cry for Pills.
Think about a health problem as a text message from your body: Hard-to-lose belly fat? Your cortisol could be high. Low sex drive? Testosterone and estrogen levels may be off. Memory loss? Estrogen and cortisol could be factors in this equation. These aren’t problems asking for a prescription – they’re asking for a lifestyle change.
Own it: Get to the root cause. Up the Omega 3s in your diet, try GPS for the Soul and take some B6. These are just a few of the gentle, prescription-free ways you can care for your body, and pretty much everyone will benefit from them. Always try lifestyle tweaks such as diet or exercise solutions before you reach for the pill bottle.
6. I Stress, Eustress…
Don’t confuse hyperdrive, late-night bursts of energy and other stress-junkie symptoms for productivity. Yes, elevated cortisol is bad for you, but so is low cortisol. Ideally, you get a burst of cortisol in the morning that wakes you up and gets you going. Over the course of the day, your cortisol levels should slowly decline so that when bedtime rolls around (10pm, remember?), it’s easy to relax and fall asleep. Cortisol needs to be in the “Goldilocks” position: not too high, and not too low.
Own it: “Eustress” means good stress, because we all need some cortisol in our lives. It’s what gets us going! The healthy solution is to change your reaction to stressful situations; approach them as a challenge, or try some deep breathing, yoga, or meditation.
7. Be a Good Neighbor
Think of your body as a neighborhood: a busy community of hormones, bacteria, and hard-working organs. Many of these work together – known as “cross talk” – which means that if one aspect of your health is off, chances are it’s affecting something else. HIgh cortisol often results in low thyroid, which means a stressed-out mind and a slowing metabolism. No, thank you.
Own it: Figure out what your body needs, and do it! Returning this interconnected system to balance may have positive effects you didn’t even think of! Healthier skin! More flexible joints! The ability to sleep without a glass of wine!
Smarter than the Average Body
Your body can do a lot; from a perfect French Braid, to remembering where you left your car keys, to getting over a cold, it’s a pretty incredible machine. Give your body the chance to rise to its full potential by making lifestyle changes, such as reducing your alcohol consumption, exercising more, and losing weight. In this way, you’re maximizing your DNA; keeping your hormones balanced helps prevent your negative genetic tendencies. Non-genetic triggers can cause your genes to behave, or express themselves, differently. This is where being proactive establishes your hormone cure.