I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
When you need a root canal for an infected tooth and your dentist cannot see you for several days, you can be left with a lot of pain and discomfort until then. Luckily there are ways you can care for your mouth until you are in the dentist's chair for your treatment (and accompanying relief). Here are things you can do to take care of an infected tooth until your dentist can see you.
You can use herbal remedies to help ease the pain and swelling in your mouth until you see the dentist. As a bonus, these remedies also work to help keep bacteria at bay. Tea tree oil, though it has a strong odor and flavor, is great for easing pain and inflammation in your mouth. Place a few drops on a cotton swab (add a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil to reduce its strength) and rub it on your tooth and gums. Another herbal remedy you can try is fresh garlic- simply crush garlic and add a dash of salt and place the paste directly on your tooth. Garlic has strong anti-bacterial properties that can help reduce the infection.
Gargling salt water after you eat can help keep pain and bacteria away as well. Salt has anti-inflammatory properties in it that can reduce swelling and ease pain. Couple this remedy with over-the-counter medication to help you find relief from the throbbing pain. You can also gargle salt water after brushing your teeth to give you added protection for your whole mouth.
If you are sensitive to extra sodium, consider rinsing your mouth with equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water instead after every meal. The foaming quality of the peroxide helps to eradicate bacteria and also pulls out food particles from your teeth, reducing pain and keeping further infection at bay.
Eating tender foods, such as soup, yogurt, oatmeal, and corn meal can help reduce your tooth pain. The less you have to chew hard foods, the more you can relax your mouth as you eat, which keeps pressure away from your jaws and your tender tooth. Make sure to rinse your mouth out with water (or the above mentioned salt water remedy) after every meal so you can keep food particles from getting stuck in your teeth. When you brush your teeth, make sure you brush in a circular motion, which cleanses them better and helps reduce the harsh pressure on your sore tooth.
Talk to your dentist today about root canals and how to prepare for them.