There are two preparations that can be bought over the counter to address any kind of tooth pain. The most popular is called Oragel, which uses benzocaine as its active ingredient. The Environmental Working Group’s Deep SkinCosmetics Database lists benzocaine used topically in the mouth or throat as having the potential to cause a life-threatening condition known as methemoglobinemia in which the amount of oxygen in your blood stream becomes dangerously low. This condition can occur after only one use of benzocaine or after several uses.
The better and natural choice is the Red Cross Toothache Kit. It’s active ingredient is eugenol, which comes from natural herbal clove oil.
Clove oil been a staple in Ayurvedic medicine, the medicine of India, for thousands of years, because of its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral properties. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FD) has given GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status to clove oil. The National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health list clove oil treatments for toothache as Grade B, meaning there is “good scientific evidence for this use”.
Whether you have gum disease, tooth decay or abscess, cracked tooth, irritated tooth root, or temporomandibular (TMJ) joint pain affecting your jaw, you will feel much better quickly after an application of eugenol or clove oil.
The Red Cross Toothache Complete Medication Kit contains almost everything you need to relieve tooth or gum pain — a small bottle of eugenol, dental size tweezers and small cotton pellets. What the kit fails to conclude is a pair of latex gloves, which would be nice to have so you don’t get eugenol on your fingers.
How to use eugenol to treat tooth pain
Eugenol is a powerful pain killer. Follow these steps and you will get substantial and lasting relief almost immediately:
Rinse the painful tooth or cavity with water to remove any food particles.
Using the tweezers, immerse a cotton pellet in the eugenol bottle.
Squeeze gently between fingers to remove excess liquid and prevent dripping. (This is where the latex gloves come in handy)
Place pellet on tooth or in tooth cavity for one minute without touching surrounding tissues. Then remove.
If you do not have access to the Red Cross kit, clove oil can be bought at pharmacies and health oriented food stores. It will work almost as well as eugenol and is applied using the same four step process. Dentists use pure eugenol to relieve tooth pain.
Both eugenol and clove oil will burn when used topically, so be careful to get the cotton pellet exactly where you want it and no where else. The burning sensation is comparable to the burning produced by a high quality oil of oregano. If you manage to burn yourself, don’t worry. The burning sensation will subside in less than a minute with no damage to tissue.
Guidelines for use of eugenol or clove oil
Children under the age of two should not be treated with eugenol or clove oil.
Eugenol and clove oil have blood thinning properties, so anyone taking medications such as Plavix or Pradaxa should use with caution.
No studies have been done on the use of eugenol or clove oil on pregnant women.
**Eugenol and clove oil should never be taken internally**
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