Friday night, he cracked it. Of course, on a Friday, with a long weekend to wait until he could see a dentist.
We used home remedies to help keep the pain tolerable until he could get an emergency appointment on Monday. He did have to have it pulled yesterday, but here’s how he made it through the weekend.
The first worry I had wasn’t pain, it was infection. I’ve had an abscessed tooth and it was hands down the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, and I knew that if his tooth got infected he’d have to wait even longer to get his tooth taken care of- at least a day on antibiotics.
The mouth is a natural breeding ground for germs, and any opening in the teeth can quickly become infected. Our homegrown infection prevention included:
Good hygiene, brushing and rinsing the mouth often
Salt water gargle, which changes the pH of the mouth so bacteria can’t grow
Garlic, which is a natural antibiotic. If you can, chew whole cloves so that the garlic gets into every nook and cranny of your mouth. It’s effect, but not particularly tasty and your breath is definitely not going to smell good. Otherwise, apply garlic to the area most prone to infection. To do this, cut a clove of garlic in half and place the cut end over opening in the tooth. It will burn for a few seconds, then the site will become numb.
Pain relief was naturally the Hubs’ priority. Here’s how he managed the pain.
Cloves. You can buy clove oil, but if you don’t have that, using whole cloves on the sore area will numb it. Clove oil has long been used for dental problems, and it’s worthwhile to keep some on hand.
Over-the-counter medications, in this case, ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil). Ibuprofen helps reduce swelling and offers pain relief.
Liquid Anbesol. This is the heavy duty stuff, not the teething fel for babies, and it’s mainly helpful for flare ups. DO NOT use with children- it’s so strong it could paralyze their throat muscles.
Listerine. Soak a cotton ball or roll of gauze, and pack it around the tooth. Bonus, this will also help with infection control.
Fluoride toothpaste. Use as a poultice, it will strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity.
A useful resource is the book, Where There Is No Dentist, written for situations in third world countries where DIY dentistry is often necessary. You can download the free .pdf, get it for your eReader, or order a paperback copy.
Prevent tooth aches from the start-