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General characteristics

General characteristics

Toothache is the pain that arises in or around the teeth. It can be caused by tooth decay but can also result from an abscess under the tooth or in the jaw, damage or cracks in the tooth, gum disease such as gingivitis, disorders of the jaw bone or temporomandibular joint (where the skull and lower jaw connect in front of each ear), sinus infection, exposed root, exposed nerve, impaction (when a tooth fails to grow through the root properly, common in wisdom teeth), eruption (when a new tooth is growing through the gum) or from teeth grinding during sleep.


When toothache strikes, it is advisable to see a dentist to determine the cause, even if you intend to use herbs and natural treatments for healing.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

 Avoid eating too many processed carbohydrates and foods high in starch such as wheat and wheat flour products, potatoes, crisps, tortilla snacks etc. A diet that is high in these processed foods will readily promote both tooth decay and gum disease.

Eat plenty of foods that are rich in the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Good sources include organic grass fed meat and dairy products, wild caught shellfish and oily fish and organic free range eggs.

Any foods rich in calcium such as tahini and sesame seeds, carrots and carrot juice, will contribute to the strength and structural integrity of teeth. Soaking beans, nuts or seeds in clean water overnight and eating them through the day is another great way to get the minerals that teeth need. Soaking them also deactivates mineral binding phytic acid present.

Eat an apple a day.

Take 1-2 tablespoons of organic blackstrap molasses daily. It is very rich in key nutrients (such as calcium and magnesium) which help to strengthen the teeth.

Include plenty of raw garlic, ginger and turmeric in your meals.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Comfrey leaf can be chewed up and plugged into any holes as a temporary 'filling'. It will prevent any food stuff lodging in the hole and also provide a little pain relief too. The powdered root could also be used.

A daily tea consisting of equal parts nettle and raspberry leaf will provide lots of calcium and contribute to the overall strength of the teeth.

Liquorice root has been shown to help slow the growth of plaque causing bacteria, so 'brush' the teeth as part of your normal routine with the fluffy end of a softened piece of liquorice root. (Chew the end for a few minutes to get if soft enough to use like a brush).

Chewing mullein root may also relieve pain.

Prickly ash tincture can be dabbed on the teeth to provide a burst of pain relief. It also increases blood flow to the area.

A mouthwash made from a tea of equal parts dried sage, chamomile flowers and myrrh can be used as a gargle to help alleviate tooth pain and slowly disperse a mouth or tooth abscess. Add some seasalt for added pain relieving benefits.

Dilute a few drops of clove essential oil in an equal amount of vegetable oil and rub on a painful tooth to give pain relief.

Take 2 teaspoons of strong echinacea tincture 3 times daily to help fight infection in cases of abscess or gum disease.

Make a paste from a teaspoon of activated charcoal and a little warm water and pack it in the painful area. This will help to pull toxins and poisons from the tooth/gum and may help relieve pain.

Slippery elm powder is very soothing to some types of toothache and also for inflamed gums or associated blisters in the mouth. Simply mix with a little water to make a thick paste and apply to the area. You can also add a few drops (1-3) of clove oil, oregano oil, prickly ash or myrrh tinctures to help relieve pain.

Add a pinch of chilli/cayenne powder to other mixes or dab directly onto the painful tooth.

The roots and leaves of plantain (Plantago lanceolata or major) can be chewed or packed in the mouth to help relieve pain and draw out poisons. It can be of great help if the pain is from an underlying infection or abscess.


Natural healing

Natural healing

A really simple and effective way of applying herbal and healing agents to the teeth/gums is to saturate a chamomile teabag with the herb tea or healing solution of your choice and place it between the teeth and cheek. It will hold the herbs/oils etc in place for as long is needed. Replace every few hours or when required.

Some people find pain relieve by taking a tablespoon or so of cider vinegar in warm water. This seems to work for abscess pain and for broken or damaged teeth.

Cut a clove of fresh garlic along its length and place the cut side against the affected tooth for pain relief. Freshly grated horseradish root can be used in the same way.

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