Acute gum and tooth pain does not make for a happy day on a Saturday afternoon and your dental office is closed until Monday or while you are on vacation, away from everywhere. Toothaches range from throbbing to excruciating, but knowing some good techniques will help the pain to be short-lived until your dentist is available.

A Sunday Afternoon in Paradise

A case in point: once upon a time I was living in the British Virgin Islands back in the early 80’s. One day I came across a local young boy who couldn’t have been more than 10 years of age crying his eyes out on the steps of the local phone company. I asked him what was causing his trouble and replied that he was suffering from a toothache. Dental offices were closed and he was in real distress. His parents were nowhere to be found.

I told him I would try to relieve at least some of his pain using acupressure on specific points of his jaw, not necessarily around the painful tooth. I managed to find a wooden pencil and with the rubber tip, held it firmly (and gently) on 2 specific areas of his chin. Within 10 minutes the pain just disappeared. I advised him to have his parents take him to his dentist when the office reopened and meanwhile to continue to apply pressure on the same two spots if the pain returned. He was as you can imagine, all smiles.

Where Exactly Are These Points?

Pain relieving acupressure points are just slightly to the left and right of the mid-line of the chin.

There are 2 ‘notches’ on the chin about 1/4 inch away from the mid line on both sides. To find these points, start at the mid-line of your chin and move your finger ever so slightly and slowly to the right and left until you can feel both of them.

These notches feel like little indentations on the jaw bone. If you have pain anywhere in the upper and lower teeth or gums, these points may be tender. By applying medium pressure to these chin points — 5 minutes on each side — you can greatly diminish or completely alleviate much of your gum and tooth pain until you can get to professional help.

The instrument that I have found most useful is the pencil rubber tip I mentioned earlier. I have also used the end of a retracted ballpoint point or other blunt instruments that do not damage the skin when pressure is applied.

You can also try a different location on the jaw bones if the ‘chin technique’ is not working for you: apply pressure on points directly above an affected tooth on the upper jaw and directly below a painful tooth on the lower jaw. This procedure often provides some relief to the nagging pain also.

Other Tooth and Gum Home Remedies for Acute Dental Problems

Toothache remedies are only short term solutions until you can see a dentist or you can rectify the cause yourself. However, if pain is a persistent and recurring problem never delay seeing a dental professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

Natural remedies have proven effective in easing the pain of a toothache and/or swollen gums. Home remedies are often herbal and, as natural treatments, lack the side effects that can be common with drugs. However, if the pain is really bad, using an over-the-counter drug for analgesic purposes may be necessary.

  • A traditional and time-tested treatment for a toothache involves the use of cloves. The clove has numbing and antiseptic properties that decrease infection. Applying clove oil with a sterile cotton swab to the tooth cavity may help dull the pain. You can also use a soft dental pick to apply the oil by first dipping the pick into the oil and then gently sliding it between the teeth while massaging the gums.
  • For swollen gums, make a paste by mixing salt with ginger and a bit of water. Gently rub this on the gums daily to reduce swelling.
  • A salt water rinse is essential to help reduce infection. Mix 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt in 4-6 ounces of warm water and swish small amounts in your mouth at a time and spit it out.
  • Oregano oil diluted with olive oil (1 part oregano oil and 30 parts olive olive) can be gently applied to sore gum areas with a sterile cotton swab, cue tip or dental pick. Some people use just a little oregano oil undiluted, but I don’t recommend this especially if you have sensitive gums. Oregano essential oil is very strong and can burn if you are not careful.
  • Put a little Periorub by ‘Nature’s Answer’ around the offending tooth or gum area with a sterile cotton swab or the end of your clean finger and massage.
  • Another inflammation lowering and pain reducing remedy is to fast for a day on just lots of pure water (or with a little well puréed veggie soup if you are on medication that requires food or you are hypoglycemic). It is the only thing I have found to help reduce acute gum inflammation in short order.

Until you treat dental problems at the causal level, the pain may persist. Therefore, to reduce inflammation and potential infection, dietary changes during acute dental distress is mandatory.

Processed carbohydrates (that means all pastas, breads, sugars, muffins and cakes, etc.) should not be eaten. Avoid all animal products except for a little well cooked or steamed fish that is rendered soft and easily chewable. Salads can be too hard on the gums if consumed at this time. Seeds and nuts can leave particles behind that may sit in dental cavities or hide beneath the gum line, so do not eat these foods either.

Ideally you should have soups and well-steamed veggies, plenty of pure water and diluted veggie juices at meals. These foods will help the body self-clean and self-repair the injured and inflamed areas (reducing runaway inflammation is paramount when you have any acute or chronic illness or health problem).

Once the condition has healed with the aid of the aforementioned remedies, techniques and foods, preventing future problems with beneficial lifestyle changes and good oral hygiene is essential.

Most of us promise ourselves that excess chocolate pig-outs will stop when we are in pain, but that promise is soon forgotten once we have relief unless we make an honest commitment to avoid getting into ‘hot soup’ (or overindulging in the candy box) again.

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