are sometimes unbearable. But the good news is that they are treatable. If you have ever suffered from a toothache
, and chances are that you might have, the first thought went to your dentist
and how he or she may ease the pain. Our ancestors, however, weren't that lucky. Before the age of modern dental treatments
, people used to do almost all that was possible to get rid of the grueling pain.
Ancient toothache treatments: bizarre and unlikely
Our ancestors didn't have much at hand when it came to explaining toothaches. Indians, Egyptians and the Chinese all seem to have shared a common belief that toothaches were caused by a tooth worm, wiggling around inside the tooth and causing pain. Strangely enough, they weren't that far from the truth. Tooth decay, or cavities
, eat through the tooth and cause small holes which eventually reach the more delicate parts, called nerves, and start causing pain
. The tooth worm was thought to have done the same thing: poke a hole through the tooth and hide behind the enamel.
Toothache remedies in the past involved natural remedies and the aching tooth was bandaged with food or herbals to ease the pain. The Aztecs used to chew chilies while Jews used to drink sour juices. Drastic treatments involved the use of creatures, like caterpillars, wrapped in cloth, placed on the tooth to get rid of the tooth worm. Filling up the cavity and burning it to get read of the “evil” was also tried by some.
One remedy that seems to have survived the test of time is clove oil. Cloves are known to help ease the pain because of their anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anesthetic properties. You can either use clove oil dabbed in a small cotton ball or simply grind some cloves and mix them with vegetable oil.
Toothache remedies today: at home treatments, before you go to the dentist
Although it is best to always contact a dentist in case you experience any kind of dental pain, some at home remedies can be used to manage toothaches. You can start by gently cleaning your mouth with a mix of warm water and salt. You can also try to chew on an onion, as they have antimicrobial properties and may help control the pain. Garlic is another cupboard item that can be used to offer relief for toothaches. You can crush one or two cloves of garlic, mix them with salt and black pepper and apply the mixture directly on the tooth. Alternatively, you can just chew the garlic.
For swelling you can use a cool compress placed on the cheek. Over the counter pain killers, like ibuprofen, can be used to ease the pain. If the pain persists
or worsens, you should contact a dentist and schedule a visit as soon as possible. The dentist might take a dental X-Ray
to determine the exact cause of the pain and then establish the right treatment plan