A toothache is one of the most painful experiences in life. It has been compared with severe back pain and even childbirth.
Although there are many potential causes of toothache, the most common cause is a cavity that infects the pulp inside a tooth and that infection spreads throughout the tooth and into the surrounding bone.
As the infection enters the bone, our bodies try to stop the infection by making chemicals that attract our attention – pain.
Not only are pain-chemicals produced, but the inflammation causes swelling around the roots which in turn tends to push the tooth out of its socket. Now that hurts!
One of the best ways to make a toothache feel better is to take a pain medication like ibuprofen (Advil / Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). These medicines work by stopping the production of the pain-chemicals and by reducing inflammation.
Since they work by stopping pain-chemical production instead of destroying those already made, it is clear that they work much better to keep pain away than to make things feel better once they hurt.
What this means in your life it that if you know something is going to hurt, take the ibuprofen first then keep taking it regularly for several days. Alternatively, if a tooth already hurts, take more than usual at first then take your normal dose regularly until the cause is taken care of.
Some people put clove oil onto a painful cavity for toothache relief. This really works! Dentists use clove oil mixed with the mineral zinc oxide to form a paste that deadens the toothache pain and fills up the cavity until a better filling can be placed.
Other people have tried putting aspirin on the gums next to the sore tooth. This is a real mistake!
Aspirin is a fairly strong acid that works very well for pain and inflammation if it is swallowed and digested into our blood. However, it is so acidic that if it is kept against your gums for long, it will cause a chemical burn that hurts almost as much as a toothache!
Remember to take medicine as directed by your doctor and be careful not to take too much. Many people cause untreatable liver damage by taking too much Tylenol – like medicines containing acetominophen. Acetominophen is mixed with many other medicines so read the ingredients to make sure you are not accidently taking too much.
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