Top myths of toothache treatments

03 Apr Top myths of toothache treatments

During the current shutdown of Dentistry in the UK we have been doing some research into emergency treatments and the dental kits that might cause more harm than good. These are our conclusions.

1. Dissolving a headache tablet in the mouth next to a toothache provides better pain relief.

Avoid

This may cause a chemical burn on the skin and lead to infection. Take headache tablets as directed on the packet, be particularly careful not to exceed the recommended dosage of paracetamol products. A thin smear of toothpaste onto the tooth before bed may also be a helpful option.

2. Temporary filling kits that are made from nylon beads

Most people should avoid

The first problem is that these emergency dental repair kits is that they recommend that the material is heated to 60 degrees C before inserting into the tooth. If the tooth is sensitive this might hurt. The second problem is that the set material is far too hard, once wedged into a tooth you may not be able to remove it. Another problem with the hardness is that if you put to much into the tooth, the excess may prevent closing your mouth without significant pain.

The softer paste type kits maybe a better option because they wear down if you do not manage to achieve the perfect shape. The repair is only temporary and should be replaced by a dentist as soon as possible.

3. Hot water bottles for facial swelling.

Avoid

This may cause an infection to spread. It is better to get specific advice before treating.

4. Lemon juice for tooth whitening or stain removal

Avoid

Lemon juice is an acid that attacks the enamel. The small amount of lightening that is initially seen is due to the surface being damaged. It is quickly reversed as the damaged tooth wears away prematurely revealing more of the darker inner core of the tooth. The typical end result is sensitive, smaller darker teeth.

5. Clove oil

Clove oil was a common component of many early dental cements and linings. It damages the nerve endings that transmit pain. It can work as a distraction irritant to the original pain but overall it doesn’t replace the need for prompt dental treatment.

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