In part one of this two-part blog, we went over some of the primary methods you can use to soothe a toothache, whether for yourself or your child. This might only be during the period while you make your way to the dentist, but toothaches can be very painful and knowing this basic information is important.
At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we can help with this and numerous other areas of preventive dentistry care. Here are a few alternatives for keeping toothache pain at bay when it comes on, including several that only utilize natural ingredients that might already be in your home.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is great for multiple areas of toothache pain. For one, it’s known to have several antiseptic and anti-inflammatory characteristics that make it perfect for this kind of soothing need. But in addition, it’s also highly acidic – this means it actually works to kill the bacteria that are causing the infection to begin with even while it numbs the pain. It can be found in most houses, and can be applied easily by soaking into a cotton ball and then pressing it to the painful area.
Extract, Leaves and Tea
There are several items in this realm that you might consider for dulling the pain of a toothache:
Peppermint: Available in tea, leaf or extract format, peppermint helps reduce swelling and soreness. Any of these formats are useful depending on what you have available in your home, with chewing peppermint leaves serving as the most direct form.
Vanilla, almond or lemon: Extracts of any of these substances may help as well. Each involves the same format as apple cider vinegar – soaking in a cotton ball and then applying for a short period of time until pain begins to subside.
There are a number of different oils you might use here for temporary pain relief, several of which have anti-inflammatory characteristics. Some require a combination with water, while others can be applied straight to a cotton ball and then pressed on. Some options here are sunflower, sesame, nutmeg, clog, tea tree or oregano oil.
Other Natural Items
You have several other options available to you in the natural realm:
Leaves and roots: Things like plantain leaves, garlic root and ginger can all relive pain temporarily.
Potatoes: You may not have thought of potatoes as a primary option, but they can absorb moisture produced by your saliva and help lower the swelling. Onions may also do the same.
Citrus: Lemons and limes provide pain relief, plus similar to apple cider vinegar are highly acidic and will work to break down bacteria that are causing the pain.
Turmeric: This is a spice found in many pantry racks, and has antibacterial properties that can help relieve pain. You’ll need to make it into a paste using some water.
Whether they take place in children or adults, toothaches are often very painful and can be signs of several different oral issues. If left untreated, they can lead to even more significant problems in many cases.
At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re always available to handle emergency dental care needs like sudden toothaches. And whether it’s just for the ride over to our offices or while you or another toothache sufferer waits for transportation, we can also offer some basic tips on relieving what can be very strong pain temporarily until our dentist can see you. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over several of these – starting with the symptoms that signal a toothache.
Sharp pain in the tooth, almost as if someone is stabbing the area with something sharp.
Possible throbbing, often mirroring your heartbeat.
Irritated gums and inflammation around the tooth area.
General mouth pain that can’t be easily defined.
Ice or Other Cold Compress
The easiest and often simplest way to limit toothache pain temporarily is through the use of ice or some other cold compress. This can be used on either the inside or outside of the mouth, on the side where the affected tooth sits.
Salt and Hot Water
Another very common method for relieving toothaches or several other kinds of pain in the mouth is using a combination of warm water and salt, which is easy to make using ingredients everyone has in the kitchen. This combination helps draw out gum fluid that may be leading to irritation and inflammation, reducing the aching you feel in the mouth. Rinsing and gargling repeatedly can be a big help.
This one obviously will be off-limits for children or anyone under legal drinking age, but swishing a little alcohol around in the mouth can also do wonders for relieving toothache pain. Several kinds will do the trick, from scotch or whiskey to vodka or brandy. These forms of alcohol will directly kill germs present, plus help numb the area that’s in pain. You don’t even necessarily need to take a full sip of alcohol – a cotton ball soaked in it will usually be enough to do the job.
Another common household item is hydrogen peroxide, which is usually found in the bathroom or First Aid kit. It’s commonly used for several applications, and can be diluted with water and used in a similar gargling format as salt and warm water. You can also use pure hydrogen peroxide if you don’t mind the taste.
For more on how you can temporarily relieve toothache pain for yourself or someone else until you’re able to see the dentist, or to learn about any of our family dentist services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today.
One of the primary goals of several various areas of dental care is the reduction and elimination of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria are the cause of several significant dental issues, from cavities to tooth decay and several others as well.
At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we can help you and the entire family control bacteria in the mouth. One significant bacteria-related tooth issue is called an abscess, or abscessed tooth – what is this, and why might it form? Let’s go over this general condition, the types and symptoms to watch for, and the treatments – possibly including a root canal – that can help with it.
Basics and Types
When bacteria is able to cause an infection in the gums and teeth, it can create a pus pocket that swells up and won’t drain. This is called the abscess, which creates a barrier around the infection – this barrier stops the infection from spreading, but this will only last for so long. With enough time, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth and even to other parts of the body.
There are two primary types of abscesses in the mouth:
Periodontal abscess: An infection located between a tooth and the gum. In most cases, periodontal abscesses are caused by food that’s trapped in this section of the mouth, plus is not properly removed by brushing and flossing. If this is left untreated, it can even affect the bone structure.
Periapical abscess: This is an infection actually inside the pulp of the tooth, which can begin to die over time if it isn’t treated. This type can also spread to surrounding bone in some cases.
Abscesses are known to form in a hurry – within two or three days in some cases. As we’ve noted here, they can have a significant effect on overall health due to infection spreading. Cysts can form in the jawbone, requiring surgical removal, and infection may spread to soft tissues, the brain and the heart. It’s very important that you see a dentist if you note any symptoms, which we’ll get to next.
Abscessed teeth should be treated by dental professionals, though you can take over-the-counter pain medication to limit you pain symptoms while you arrange this treatment. There are some cases where draining pus from the abscess using a small incision will be enough to correct the issue, but in others a root canal might be needed to remove the infected pulp and protect the tooth. For the most severe cases that have been allowed to spread, root surgery or full tooth removal might be needed if the tooth cannot be saved.
For more on identifying and treating abscessed teeth, or to learn about any of our family dentist services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today.
For those who have had them, dental implants can be extremely valuable for long-term oral health. There are several types of dental implants available, each of which come in a form extremely similar to your natural teeth so you’ll have a limited adjustment period and virtually no aesthetic changes.
At the offices of Scott W. Grant DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we have a variety of dental implants depending on your needs, from single-tooth implants to all-in-four implants that allow replacement of a full set of teeth without any dentures. We can also help you with the basic care areas you should be considering after dental implant surgery – here are some essential tips.
The most important bit of care for dental implants can be accomplished simply by practicing smart oral habits. Many of these are simple, the same kinds of habits you were given from a young age to take care of your teeth and gums. Some areas include:
Flossing: Your dentist may recommend a specific floss brand based on the type of dental implant you received. They may also recommend a floss threader to make flossing easier.
Proper brushing: Brushing with the proper technique, including higher up on the gums, helps keep them healthy despite a change to tooth structure.
Nonabrasive brushes: You want to be at least moderately careful with the dental implant in the first few months after it’s put in place, and one way to do this is by using softer, nonabrasive brush bristles.
Areas to Avoid
There are a few broad areas to generally avoid when it comes to caring for dental implants:
Bad foods: You want to avoid foods that might stick between the new implant or cause damage if you bite down on them too hard. These may include rice, nuts, popcorn or apples. Instead, prioritize softer foods in the days and weeks after the procedure.
Extreme temperatures: Teeth are often sensitive directly after an implant procedure – including teeth that were not even impacted. For this reason, avoid extremely hot or cold foods or beverages for the first few weeks.
Picks: If you’re looking to reach plaque buildup areas using a pick device of some kind, avoid metal or plastic picks at all costs. These are highly likely to scratch or weaken the implant surface. Your dentist can recommend a water pick if you have areas you struggle to reach.
Whether or not mouthwash was part of your oral routine before your implant, it should be afterward. Mouthwash is great for removing bacteria and germs in tough places to reach in the mouth, which might be exacerbated during the adjustment period to a new structure in the mouth.
When to Seek Dental Assistance
It’s expected that you’ll have some mild sensitivity and perhaps even very minor discomfort in the days and weeks following a dental implant. However, if any of the following takes place, you should immediately contact our dentists:
Major pain or swelling
Nausea shortly after the operation
Blood oozing from the affected area within 24-48 hours of the procedure
Within the world of dental care, the gums are one of the most important considerations. Even significant tooth-related treatments like dental implants have a major impact on the gums, and this entire system works in harmony when things are going properly.
At the offices of Scott W Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, our preventive care services include a variety of methods to help promote gum health. For some patients, bleeding gums is a regular occurrence they’re looking to get a handle on – what are some of the reasons why your gums might be bleeding, and are they reversible? Let’s take a look.
One of the most common reasons for bleeding gums is gingivitis, the medical term for a buildup of plaque in the mouth around the gum line. The body has a reflexive inflammatory response to this, triggered by the immune system. If plaque isn’t removed and continues to build up, it will harden and become tartar, which can lead to even further bleeding issues.
Another possible condition that could be causing bleeding gums is periodontitis, which is more serious than gingivitis. It’s a jawbone disease where bacteria on the gum line actually begins to destroy pats of the jaw itself, which in turn can lead to major tooth decay or tooth loss for some people. Periodontitis is a serious condition that needs the attention of a dentist.
New Dental Routine
In other cases, the cause of your bleeding gums might be a simple change to the normal processes they’re used to. The teeth and gums are very sensitive to changes in routine, so even something as simple as a new toothbrush or a new floss type could trigger temporary bleeding.
In most cases, if this bleeding subsides in a few days, there’s nothing to worry about. If it continues beyond this, however, consider whether the changes you made might not have been totally healthy.
Down similar lines, new medications may cause bleeding in the gums in some cases. Blood thinners, immuno-suppressants and anticonvulsants may all lead to inflammation in the gums, which makes it easier for them to bleed. Blood pressure medications may have a similar effect. Even certain other medications like sedatives or antihistamines may decrease the saliva in your mouth, which makes bleeding more likely. Inform your dentist of any medications you’ve recently started if bleeding is an issue.
If you lack proper quantities of vitamin C or K in your diet, this could contribute to bleeding gums. Ask your doctor to test your levels for these vitamins and prescribe solutions.
In some rare cases, bleeding gums might actually be a sign of a larger health condition like leukemia or ITP (a blood clotting condition). If you fear this is the case, be thorough in documenting your symptoms before seeing a doctor.
Pregnancy involves a major change to many hormones for mothers, and one common result here is gums becoming more sensitive to bleeding. This should usually go away within a couple months after giving birth – speak to your doctor if it doesn’t.
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