Have you ever wondered about the effectiveness of home remedies for common oral health issues? Many concoctions that were passed down from genera-
tion to generation as a sure-fire cure are now circulating on the internet. Unfortunately, many are anecdotal, untested, or unregulated, and some are actually unsafe.
Fortunately, there are a few safe and effective home remedies that can help relieve symptoms of some common oral health problems until you can see your dentist.
WARM SALT WATER RINSE: Warm salt water rinsing is one of the oldest, safest and most effective home remedies for various tooth and gum-related maladies. Sore or bleeding gums due to gingivitis, and wounds from a recent extraction or acci- dents such as biting the inside of the lip or tongue will all heal better and more quickly with warm salt water. Instructions: Dissolve ? teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. It should taste about as salty as sea water. Swish a mouthful for 15 to 30 seconds, then spit it out. Repeat with mouthfuls of that mixture until it’s all used. Repeat this rinse 3–5 times daily as needed.
HYDROGEN PEROXIDE RINSE: Some forms of gingivitis are more severe and painful than others. One form is Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis, which is common among college students due to lack of sleep, poor diet, lax hygiene and/ or stress. Fortunately, the bacteria that cause this infection are very susceptible to common hydrogen peroxide. When used with warm salt water, many cases can be completely resolved without requiring antibiotic treatment. Instructions: Use 4 ounces of 3% hydrogen peroxide OR use 2 ounces combined with 2 ounces of water. Swish a mouthful for 30 seconds, spit it out, repeat until it’s gone. Repeat 2–3 times daily as needed.
A WARM, MOIST TEA BAG: A warm, moist Black Tea bag can help stop the bleeding of an extracted tooth. Instructions: Simply roll, moisten and bite gently on the Black Tea bag in the location of the persistent bleeding. Change every 30–45 minutes until bleeding has stopped.
A CUP OF MILK OR WATER: A knocked-out tooth can be saved and replaced in the socket if the tooth is quickly placed in milk or water, to help maintain the living cells on the root surface.
CLOVE OIL: Clove oil has been used for centuries to allevi- ate tooth pain. To reduce pain from a tooth with a broken or lost filling, put a drop or two of clove oil on a folded cotton or gauze pad, and bite down on it at the pain source.
COLD COMPRESS: For an infected or abscessed tooth, a cold compress can offer relief until you can see a medical profes- sional. To get through the night, take an Ibuprofen and use a freezer pack or ice cubes wrapped in a dish towel.