The worst thing about tooth pain is that it strikes when least expected and when help is out of reach, which is usually at night and makes it impossible for you to sleep. Not to mention that it is also often intense enough to make most people double over in agony. Unfortunately, OTC pain killers are just not strong enough to rein in the throbbing nerve pain that is tooth ache.
At times, the pain is so severe that some people resort to gulping down one pill after another, endangering their health in the process. Add to this the fact that any infection or inflammation in the mouth can easily spread to the sinus cavity and even to the brain, and it is understandable why tooth ache, gum infection and other mouth problems should not be ignored.
Is Severe Tooth Pain Due To Poor Dental Hygiene?
Although cavities can be attributed to lack of diligence in brushing and flossing, tooth ache can be caused due to a range of reasons. Yes, cavities happen to be one of the causes of tooth pain. However, other issues such as an exposed root, loose filling or a damaged cap, a cracked tooth due to an accident, tooth grinding and even a sinus infection can also lead to toothache.
When tooth pain can be traced to poor dental hygiene it is usually caused by an acute inflammation of the pulp. The pain in this case is so intense that you will not be able to ignore it. If you continue to keep the pain in check with pills and don’t do something about the underlying cause, you will develop an abscess and the inflammation will spread from the tooth and the gums to the cheeks and the sinus, and you certainly don’t want that to happen.
Just How Bad Is Your Toothache?
The severity and type of tooth pain that you are experiencing can tell you a lot about what is causing it. For instance:
- Stabbing pain felt when you bite down on food is usually caused by a cracked tooth, loose filling or tooth decay. In this case, it is crucial to not only treat the pain but to also prevent the imminent infection.
- Pain experienced for a few moments after eating very cold or very hot food can be caused by sensitivity, minor tooth decay or gum recession, which has exposed the root.
- Throbbing and continuous pain that is felt in a particular area of the mouth but cannot be traced to a specific tooth is usually due to acute infection and inflammation of the pulp.
- Constant and acute pain with visible swelling is usually an indication of severe infection and abscess. The pus has to be drained out in this scenario before the infection can be brought under control.
Can Essential Oils Get Rid Of Tooth Pain?
Yes and remarkably so! In fact, when your OTC painkillers fail to yield the desired pain dulling effects, essential oils can come to your rescue. These natural aromatic compounds not only bring the pain under control but also fight off the infection and control the inflammation. Essential oils can be used as a treatment as well as a preventative measure, when it comes to tooth pain and dental issues in general.
What Are The Best Essential Oils For Tooth Aches And Pain?
With pain numbing effects that rival those of benzocaine and killer anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, it is no wonder that clove oil has been used for centuries to treat all dental ailments. In fact, it was being used long before the birth of modern dentistry. The best part is that it is 100% safe and works almost immediately when used against tooth pain.
2. Tea Tree
A powerful antiseptic that will kill the infection causing bacteria lodged in the cavities, tea tree oil brings its own anti-inflammatory properties to the table. Plus, it is a mild anaesthetic that can be used on its own or in conjunction with any other natural ingredient.
The antibacterial properties of cinnamon oil work against all sorts of infections, but they are exceptionally effective against microorganisms that cause gum disease and tooth decay. Additionally, the phytocompounds in cinnamon oil also exhibit anti-inflammatory effects that add to the overall pain numbing properties of a blend.
4. Peppermint or Spearmint
Both peppermint oil and spearmint essential oils display strong antiseptic properties. Additionally, the cooling effect of these two oils helps to tone down inflammation and is a particularly soothing for the soft gum tissue.
The essential oil of Frankincense is excellent when it comes to preventing dealing with dental issues such as tooth decay/cavities or infections due to its antiseptic properties.
How To Use Essential Oils For Tooth Pain?
Recipe 1: Severe tooth ache relieving blend
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 4 drops clove oil
- 3 drops cinnamon oil
Mix the above-mentioned oils together and use a Q-Tip to apply directly on the infected tooth or place one to two drops of the oil mixture into the cavity. Do not swallow your saliva for a few minutes after applying the oil.
Recipe 2: Pain relieving mouth wash
- Ginger root (3 pieces of 2 inches each)
- 3 cups water
- 5 drops tea tree oil
- 4 drops spearmint oil
Peel the ginger and chop into thin slices. Add it to 3 cups of water and boil till the liquid is reduced to one and a half cups. Filter to remove the pieces of ginger. Once the concoction is at room temperature, add the essential oils and mix well. Use this as a mouthwash, holding it in your mouth for as long as you can, so that the infected tooth gets submerged in it. Repeat every 2 hours or as needed.
Recipe 3: Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving dental paste
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- ½ tsp asafoetida
- 1 clove of garlic
- 5 drops clove oil
Peel and crush the clove of garlic in a mortar and pestle till you get a fairly smooth paste. Mix the oils and the asafoetida with the garlic paste and apply the mixture directly on the infected tooth and keep it there for about 10 minutes. Don’t swallow your saliva while the paste is in your mouth. To remove, gargle once with water at room temperature.
Recipe 4: Hot compress for gum inflammation and tooth ache
- 2 cups hot water
- 8 drops roman chamomile oil
- 3 drops tea tree oil
- 2 drops Frankincense oil
Add the oils to the hot water and mix. Dip cotton wool into the concoction, squeeze to remove excess fluids and then place it on the infected or abscessed gum. For tooth ache, use a hand towel and increase the quantity of water. Dip the towel in the water, wring and then place on your cheeks, right above the aching tooth. Hot compress works well when you cannot trace the pain to a particular tooth.
Recipe 5: Mouth wash for sensitive teeth and gums
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp himalayan pink salt
- 5 drops clove oil
Mix all the ingredients together and use as a mouthwash to tone down gum and teeth sensitivity. This mouth wash is also very effective against gum diseases and tooth decay.
Recipe 6: Make your own natural toothpaste
- 10 drops frankincense essential oil
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
- 4 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp stevia powder
Gently melt the coconut oil until soft (do not overheat) and add in the other ingredients, mix thoroughly. Pour the blend in a glass jar. Use a small spoon to scoop a dollop onto your tooth brush. This blend is excellent for oral hygiene and to prevent bad breadth.
The Bottom Line
According to a recent study, over 40% of adults aged 30 and above (approx. 65 million people) have a form of gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss. Whilst essential oils are very beneficial to get rid of temporary tooth pain at home, it is also important to see your dental health professional to determine any underlying cause of tooth pain. And remember prevention is better than cure, therefore do not forget those regular dental check-ups every 6 months or more often for people at higher risk of developing tooth / gum diseases.