August of 2008 was a strange and somewhat rough month for me. I’d gotten married just weeks before, returned to work only to be told I was soon losing my job, and was quickly hit with the most excruciating dental pain I have ever experienced in my life.
What with all the time in the world to sit about my house in agony, having just lost my dental insurance, I became very desperate and began researching any and every quick-fix home remedy I could find. I’d like to share just what I discovered through attempting to treat my dental pain with popular remedies:
Remedy: It is widely stated that gargling with vanilla extract or placing a cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract will instantly cure a tooth ache.
Results: First, I placed a cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract directly onto the aching tooth. After waiting and waiting, nothing happened. I then decided that perhaps this was not enough to provide relief and gargled the extract for as long as I could handle. This provided absolutely no relief, but perhaps the want to vomit after gargling vanilla extract did briefly take my mind off of the pain.
Remedy: Placing a large wedge of freshly cut yellow or white onion directly on to the acting tooth is said to relieve tooth pain.
Results: My husband just so happened to be preparing a large pot of chilli the night that my tooth began to ache, so I asked him to cut me a large section of onion, which I then placed directly on to my aching tooth. I repeatedly bit the onion, hoping that it would provide whatever relief is was said to, with zero results.
Remedy: Crush any size aspirin and blend into a thick paste with water. Apply a generous amount of the paste to the aching tooth for immediate relief.
Results: Being allergic to naproxen and ibuprofen, I always keep a bottle of aspirin handy for the pain that Tylenol can’t knock out. I crushed one of the pills and blended with just a few drops of water. Almost as soon as I applied the paste to my tooth, I began to taste this terrible concoction. I forced myself to wait as long as I could and once I had decided that it obviously was not going to provide relief, I wiped off the paste and brushed my teeth thoroughly.
Remedy: Place freshly crushed cloves or a cotton ball soaked in clove oil on to the affected tooth for pain relief.
Results: I did not have the opportunity to try the freshly crushed cloves, but I did attempt the clove oil on a cotton ball. I found that this did provide just a bit of very temporary relief, but no more than Orajel or any of the over-the-counter “miracle” topical medications that are said to treat all dental pain.
After three nights of very little sleep and constant throbbing pain, I broke down and had an emergency extraction – sans dental insurance. While it did drain a bit of my savings to have such a costly procedure performed, it worked, unlike the silly home remedies that I was desperate enough to attempt.