Tips and wisdom for relieving tooth aches and sensitive gums
When toothaches or tooth sensitivity strikes, nothing can seem more painful or uncomfortable to deal with.
Unfortunately the modern western diet is typically acidic and full of refined sugar and food additives, along with an indoctrinated dental industry that has perpetuated an epidemic of tooth issues!
Teeth are hard calcified objects which have nerves at their centre, responsible for the pain you feel when something is not right. This tissue is soft, but the surface of a tooth is formed from types of tissues that are very high in mineral content. These tissues are called enamel and dentin.
Before addressing the ways to relieve the pain, it’s important to understand the factors often responsible for causing the problem.
What causes tooth aches?
Consisting of damage to the tooth enamel, decay can occur as a result of not having enough raw whole foods in the diet, which leads to a lack of mineralisation. This can make the teeth more susceptible to the acids and bacteria which cause dental plaque to accumulate on the teeth and slowly rot them.
It's no secret that sugary drinks and sweets are some of the biggest causes of rapid tooth decay.
Cracks and fractures
Chipped or broken teeth may fill with bacteria from plaque and enter the pulp causing inflammation.
Regardless of how well it is done, teeth cleaning, root planing, crown placement, tooth restoration and the materials used to fill the tooth can sometimes cause pain down the road.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Brushing too hard
Over time, brushing too hard or using a plastic, hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down the enamel and cause the dentin to be exposed. It can also cause recession of the gums (the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth).
Recession of the gums
As gums move away from a tooth due to conditions such as periodontal disease, the root surface becomes exposed.
Also known as Gingivitis, inflamed and sore gum tissue may cause sensitivity due to the loss of supporting ligaments, which exposes the root surface that leads directly to the nerve of the tooth.
Other causes include:
- Teeth grinding
- Chemical tooth whitening products and fluoride mouthwashes
- Natural degeneration with age
- Plaque build-up from eating too much acidic food
Ancient natural remedies
Brilliant ancient cultures instinctively knew to turn to nature when tooth ache or sensitivity struck. They knew what to take to address the pain and what to do to avoid problems ever occurring.
Ginger root works wonders for numbing the pain of tooth ache. Cut off a piece, remove the skin and place in the mouth right on the painful tooth and bite.
Along with its incredible anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, Clove Oil also works to ease pain. Put some on a cotton swab and rub it around the sore area, or mix with some coconut oil and swirl around in your mouth.
Other things you can do include:
- Rinse with salty water: After each meal and at bedtime, stir one teaspoon of sea salt into an glass of water (again, at body temperature), then hold each mouthful, roll it around the mouth, before spitting out.
- Finger massage: When you have an achy tooth, gently massaging the affected area which can help ease the pain. Rub an ice cube over the area for five to seven minutes three or four times a day.
Prevention is better than cure
In order to prevent toothache and sensitivity happening in the first place:
- Eat plenty of greens and a diet rich in whole foods;
- Reduce or eliminate your intake of processed, 'acid-forming' foods and drinks;
- Make oral hygiene a daily priority and look after not only your 'teeth', but your mouth and gums also.
Practice good oral hygiene by following these ancient protocols and tips for fantastic dental health:
This Ayurvedic practice dates back centuries and consists of using a copper tongue scraper. Ancient texts state and science confirms that scraping your tongue helps to clear the bacteria and toxins that can lead to tooth decay. Copper is one of the best materials to use for tongue scraping, due to its inherent anti-bacterial properties.
Another Ayurvedic tradition commonly practiced using Cold Pressed Coconut Oil, oil pulling is a powerful daily ritual for regularly cleansing and naturally disinfecting your gums, tongue, teeth and throat. Take a good teaspoon of coconut oil into the mouth and swirl around for 5-10 minutes first thing in the morning or before bed to reduce the level of acidity and extract the bacteria responsible for gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.
Natural Teeth Cleaning
Using a natural soft-bristled toothbrush will result in less toothbrush abrasion to the tooth surface and less irritation to the gums. Brush gently around the gum line to avoid removing gum tissue.
Avoid fluoride toothpaste like the plague, and make your own natural, non-toxic tooth powder by simply mixing Sea Salt with bicarbonate of soda and essential Peppermint Oil. For convenience or to remove guess work, purchase my Tooth Fairy Tooth Powder.
By practicing good oral hygiene on a consistent basis, you'll avoid unnecessary dentists visits, your breath will be fresh, your teeth will sparkle, and your mouth and gums will shine.