Toothaches are often at their worst late at night. This may be because when you are laying in bed, the horizontal position of your head means that there is increased blood flow in all areas of your face and head. Increased blood flow to the jaw can increase the likelihood that the nerves in your teeth that are exposed or infected will be stimulated, causing more pain. How can you shut down the pain for the night so that you can get some sleep? Try one of these home remedies for relief.
There are a few of different oils that you can use to help relieve the pain. Clove oil is the most well known tooth pain reliever. Clove oil contains eugenol, which is an effective anesthetic. In fact, eugenol is sometimes used in commercial tooth pain relief products, and applying a small amount of it should work at least as well as any over-the-counter tooth pain gel.
If you don't happen to have any clove oil handy, oregano oil is also an effective pain reliever. However, oregano oil is also strong, and can burn your gums, lips, or tongue if you're not careful. To get the pain relieving benefits without the burn, mix a small amount of oregano oil with a small amount of olive oil, then apply to the affected area.
Your grandmother may have told you to use vanilla extract on a painful tooth, and she wasn't wrong. Other common flavor extracts, like lemon or orange, can also numb the pain, at least temporarily. This works because the extracts contain alcohol, which can numb the painful area long enough for the nerves to settle down.
You may also want to invest in some butternut bark extract to keep around in case of tooth emergencies. Native American tribes once used the bark of these trees to treat toothaches, and it remains an effective pain reliever. However, take care not to swallow it–it also doubles as a mild laxative.
If you don't have any oils or extracts in the house, you may want to try some tea instead. However, you don't want to drink the tea. What you really want is the tea bag.
Choose black or green tea for this–both are high in tannic acids, which can reduce the swelling that leads to tooth pain. Steep the tea bag briefly in warm water – don't make it too hot; you don't want to burn your mouth. Squeeze out the excess moisture, and pack the tea bag against the sore tooth or gum area. Remove the teabag after it cools and the pain subsides.
While these remedies will help you get through a rough night, they provide only temporary relief. Your dentist can treat the infection or damage that is causing the tooth pain to help it stop for good, so make an appointment to be seen by your dentist right away.
To get professional help, contact a local dentist such as Richard L. Myers, DDS.