Anyone who has ever had dental surgery knows that the pain of a root canal treatment is one of the worst there ever is. While anesthetics are administered for the duration of the surgery, patients are left either miserable or at the mercy of painkillers for days afterwards. Luckily, there are quite a few natural ways to treat a toothache, and the same can be use to treat the root canal pain as well. Here are some commonly used remedies.
1. Ice Packs
It may seem silly, like a no-brainer even, but there is a reason ice packs are so popular. They ease pain very efficiently. Simple grab some ice from the freezer, tie it up in a piece of thick cloth, and apply it on the outer side of your jawbone.1 The greatest advantage of this approach is that you don’t have to meddle with the insides of your mouth, nor open it wide, both of which can be very painful after surgery. So how do ice packs work? The cold temperature temporarily numbs the nerves in the area, thus blocking the pain receptors from sensing cold.
Homeopathy is an oft-disputed branch of natural medicine. Critics say that all homeopathy does is serve as a placebo, while supporters say that is is excellent for curing ailments. Whatever be the reason, as long as it relieves pain, it is worth a try! Some homeopathic drugs such as belladonna and henbane are extremely effective in treating severe pain systemically.2 A few doses of these medicines can relieve pain very easily. Do remember that these plants need to be taken in the form of their extract in the medicine- consuming them directly can be fatal.
3. Toothache Oils
It is perhaps their extraordinary pain relieving capability that has earned some oils the rather endearing nickname of ‘toothache oils’. Examples include chamomile, oregano and peppermint oils.These oils need to be diluted correctly with a neutral carrier oil. They can hen be dabbed on the affected area using a cotton ball. All three oils are very effective anaesthetics and can help with toothache relief.3
4. Tea Tree Oil
This oil hasn’t been grouped under toothache oils because for one, it can be applied as is and for another, it also has antimicrobial properties that can prevent infections.4 Just dab a cotton ball with tea tree oil and apply to the affected area. We recommend not applying directly on the operated tooth, but the jaw and gum surrounding it. Tea tree oil also helps prevent infection to the sore area.
5. Clove Oil
Clove oil is a highly disputed remedy. Some people do find relief due to its anaesthetic property.5 Others, however, cannot tolerate the taste of the oil which in itself is quite potent and stinging in nature. Use clove oil only if you know it has worked for you before.6 If you intend to apply it to a tooth that has just had a root canal, avoid touching the surgical area itself. Instead, use it around the gum and inner jawline. Always find a pure extract from a brand you trust.
In most cases, root canal pain does ease up within a few days. You can always ask your doctor to prescribe you a painkiller that isn’t very harsh on the body. If you’re very sure that medicines aren’t for you, be sure to inform your doctor before trying out home remedies on an area that has already received a good, surgical beating.
|↑1||Ernst, Edzard, and Veronika Fialka. “Ice freezes pain? A review of the clinical effectiveness of analgesic cold therapy.” Journal of pain and symptom management 9, no. 1 (1994): 56-59.|
|↑2||Ramoutsaki, Ioanna A., Helen Askitopoulou, and Eleni Konsolaki. “Pain relief and sedation in Roman Byzantine texts: Mandragoras officinarum, Hyoscyamos niger and Atropa belladonna.” In International Congress Series, vol. 1242, pp. 43-50. Elsevier, 2002.|
|↑3||Wilson, Roberta. Aromatherapy. Penguin, 2002.|
|↑4, ↑5, ↑6||Zand, Janet. Smart Medicine for Healthier Living.Penguin, 1999.|