A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.
If you've broken a tooth and it's causing you pain, a dentist can pull it and replace or cover it with a dental crown that is cemented into your gums and acts as a permanent structure just like your natural teeth. But until you can get to the dentist and have the procedure done, there are a few things you can do to minimize your pain and the frustration of the experience. Use one or more of the following effective options:
Focus on Soft Foods
If you find meal time painful, consider creating a temporary meal plan to follow that focuses on soft foods which won't irritate your broken tooth and gums. Instead of having toast for breakfast, chips for lunch, and steak for dinner, plan meals that are easy to chew and swallow such as:
To ensure that you're getting enough nutrition each day, eat several small meals throughout the day instead of just three. This will help ensure that you don't get too uncomfortable before you're able to finish eating and help keep your appetite up.
Rinse Your Mouth Often
If food debris or bacteria is allowed to build up in and around your broken tooth, the chance of getting an infection will increase, and you'll likely feel more pain. To make sure that the area stays clean and free of infection, it's important to rinse your mouth several times each day with plain or lightly salted water. Rinse first thing in the morning, after every meal, right before bed, and any time you feel a dull pain in your mouth.
Don't swallow the water you rinse with because it may be full of bacteria and germs – spit it out like you would mouthwash. You can also rinse with hydrogen peroxide to help fight off bacteria throughout the day. Just mix a tablespoon of it into a glass of water and rinse with a few swigs. To make the concoction taste better, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice into the water and hydrogen peroxide mixture then stir it thoroughly before using it as a mouth rinse.
Meditate on a Regular Basis
Meditating can alter your brain activity and help you focus on accepting the pain and mentally moving through it instead of trying to fight it off. Some studies even show a reduced sensitivity to pain after during and after meditation practice. You don't have to spend hours each day meditating to reap its pain reduction benefits. Spend just 10 or 15 minutes each morning or evening practicing meditation, and you should start to experience some pain relief within just a couple of days.
You can rent books and DVDs from your local library to learn some meditation techniques and then incorporate them into a personal practice at home. You should also be able to find several regular meditation opportunities throughout your neighborhood at places like Buddhist temples and community centers.
Make Use of Clove Essential Oil
Even today, dentists use clove oil in their offices to reduce pain while completing procedures on their patients, so it makes sense to use it at home for your tooth pain until you can get it treated and crowned. Just a little bit goes a long way, and using too much can result in negative results instead of being helpful.
All you have to do is mix a couple of drops into a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil, then soak a cotton swab in the mixture for a few seconds. Place the cotton swab on your broken tooth and lightly bite down on it for a minute or two so the clove oil has a chance to transfer to the area. Take the cotton swab out, and you should feel a reduction in pain for the next couple of hours.