3 Outdated At-Home Toothache Remedies You Should Avoid

28 February 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

If you are suffering from a severe toothache, you may be willing to try anything to find relief from the pain, including trying old home remedies. However, some remedies may actually harm your tooth or the surrounding gums, such as the three discussed below.

Rubbing Your Tooth With Clove Oil

Clove oil is one old-time remedy that your grandparents may have used to treat a toothache at home. While there is some evidence that it could numb the pain, thanks to its benzocaine content, it may harm your teeth and gums. 

Especially when used frequently and undiluted, the clove oil could eventually break down the outer membrane of the tooth. It can also burn the gums, leading to mouth sores. 

If you do decide to use clove oil, use extreme caution and dilute it with a carrier oil, such as olive oil. Also, do not use it for an extended period of time.

Applying a Crushed Aspirin to Your Tooth

Another popular home remedy is crushing an aspirin, mixing it with water, and applying the paste to the tooth. While aspirin is an effective pain reliever when taken as directed, it could severely harm your tooth.

Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which could irritate your gums and the pulp of the tooth, especially if your toothache is caused by a cavity or crack. Instead of applying the aspirin to the tooth, it would serve you better taking it with a glass of water, if not contraindicated by your doctor.

Placing a Raw Potato on Your Tooth

Although it is unclear why placing a raw potato helps a toothache, it is a home remedy that is sometimes still recommended by older persons. However, if you have a cracked tooth, you should not use this treatment in an attempt to relieve your pain.

Since potatoes are mainly starch, placing a potato on an open tooth can introduce simple sugars into the pulp. Some of the sugars can become lodged inside the tooth, where it can provide food for any bacteria growing. Given an ideal environment and food source, the germs could then multiply quickly and lead to a serious infection.

Using any of the above home remedies may cause more harm than good when you are trying to ease your aching tooth. Instead of resorting to homemade treatments, you may be better off making an appointment with your dentist so they can treat the root cause along with giving you something to relieve the pain. Contact general dentistry clinics like DSW Dental to learn more.