Tooth decay is usually the cause of tooth aches. A tooth ache is a sign of decay, abscess or inflammation inside the tooth or of the gum. The main cause of tooth decay is plaque. Plaque is a film of mucus and bacteria deposited on the teeth that encourages the development of dental caries. Dental caries is also known as tooth decay or a cavity. It is an infection which is bacterial in origin, that causes demineralization of the tooth surface.
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay is usually caused by a sticky film of food residue, saliva and bacteria that accumulate on teeth. The bacteria feeds on the sugars and starches from food we eat. These bacteria produce an acid that can destroy the enamel, which is the protective surface of the tooth. When the decay advances. it leads to deep cavities that allow bacteria to enter the pulp deep within the tooth, and eventually leads to a painful dental abscess. It is called a tooth abscess, when pus has accumulated in a cavity on the interior of the tooth.
Home remedies to prevent and treat tooth aches
Tooth decay invariably requires treatment by a dentist, but you can use a variety of natural home remedies to relieve pain while dental treatment takes effect, and even prevent it by performing these simple actions, which will keep the teeth healthy.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss it to remove food particles from between your teeth.
Minimize the consumption of refined carbohydrates. Such foods promote plaque formation and raise acid levels in the mouth.
Reduce excess acidity in your mouth after eating by brushing or rinsing your mouth well so as to remove food residue and counter acidity.
Drink tea, which is a good source of fluoride and tannins. Fluorides is a decay fighting mineral and the tannins help fight bacteria. Green tea can prevent tooth decay by inhibiting oral bacteria.
Minimize snacking, (including sugary drinks, candy and mints) as this leads to a constant supply of acid in the mouth.
It is not how often we brush our teeth, but how well we brush our teeth that matters. It is recommended that we hold the brush at a 45 degree angle against the gum line. Point the brush upwards while brushing the upper teeth and downward while brushing the lower teeth. Use short back and forth motion to clean the surface of teeth. Tilt the brush vertically and use the front part of the brush in short up down strokes to clean the inner surfaces of the front teeth. Finally, brush your tongue too, as it has disease containing plaque.
Another important thing to do everyday is to floss your teeth. The teeth are usually touching each other, so there is no other way to get into the space between teeth. Flossing too has to be done the right way. You don’t want to slash your gums. Floss not only removes the food particles from between teeth, but also the plaque that builds between teeth. It is good to be methodical when flossing and brushing, so that no surfaces of any teeth are missed.
To reduce the pain of an abscess, apply a hot compress for five minutes, every half an hour and wash out with warm salt water afterwards. This may help release the pus.
Apply a few drops of clove oil on the gum above or beneath the aching tooth. Cloves contain eugenol, a local anaesthetic. If you do not have clove oil at home, powder the cloves finely and make a very thick decoction out of it. Soak a cotton wool in this decoction and place it on the hurting tooth.
Apply a cotton wool ball soaked in echinacea tincture to the affected tooth.
Apply a paste of powdered slippery elm bark mixed with a little water.
Herbal tea made from mango flowers acts as an astringent, soothes inflammation and relieves pain.
After cleaning teeth, gently massage gums with fingertip, then rinse mouth with cold black tea. The tannin in the tea acts as an astringent and reduces bleeding.
To counter infection, make mouth washes out of meadowsweet tea. You can make this tea by pouring boiling water over the dried herb and steeping for 10 mins. Strain, cool and use.
Take a tbsp of mustard oil, and add a tsp of common salt to it. Massage this mixture on your gums with your forefinger, in circular strokes for about half a minute. Gargle with warm water and repeat three times a day.
Diet for teeth
It is important to keep teeth strong in addition to keeping it clean. Calcium helps make the teeth strong. With an increase in calcium intake, magnesium and zinc intake also has to go up, as the requirement of magnesium and zinc increases with an increase of calcium in the diet. Vitamin C is very important for gum health. Vitamin C is said to supply the gum tissues with oxygen and strengthens the texture of tissues. It also cures infections quickly. Eating raw hard vegetables on a regular basis, helps to clean and exercise the gum and teeth, thus making them stronger.