Anything that interferes with eating is bad news in my opinion. Hell, I barely tolerate talking at dinner time.
Imagine my horror then when I woke up with a niggling pain in my back molars last week. Ugh. Toothache is such a buzz-kill at mealtimes.
What’s a girl to do? Well, in this instance, shun the dentist and dig into the natural medicine cabinet.
Lucky for me and my sore gums, we had a bottle of clove oil in the house.
In a 2006 study from the Journal of Dentistry, volunteers were divided into groups – one group was told to apply clove oil to their gums and the other benzocaine (the numbing ingredient in conventional toothache remedies like Orajel). Both were pricked with needles at the treated site and clove oil was found to work just as well as benzocaine in numbing the area.
I apply a small amount to sore teeth and gums with a cotton swab, but if it’s your first time using it you might want to dilute the oil as it’s very potent.
The other great thing about clove oil is that it’s antibacterial so you know you’re not only masking the pain, but also killing any lingering bacteria.
Maintaining your molars
The clove oil worked wonders for my tooth and the pain cleared up within 48 hours. Why? I can’t be certain but I believe it was because I went heavy on bone broth and doubled up on my fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) supplement for those days.
According to a Japanese study, people with low levels of the Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils are 1.5 times more likely to have tooth decay or gum disease. It’s no coincidence that Dr Weston Price, the man behind the WAP Foundation which touts the benefits of FCLO, was a dentist.
The WAP Foundation is also a keen advocate of bone broth (as I am myself). Tooth decay is a symptom of a breakdown of connective tissue and bone so it makes sense that drinking mineral-rich broth is a great way to start rebuilding that bone and tissue.
And finally, it probably doesn’t need to be said but avoiding sugars and grains will also help keep your mouth healthy.
I don’t use conventional toothpastes or mouthwashes because I don’t trust that long, sinister-sounding list of ingredients. Also, they are pricey and I am nothing if not
It’s very, very easy to make your own toothpaste. To get started, check out these options:
- Easy, 3-ingredient recipe from DIYnatural
- Baking Soda & Coconut Oil Toothpaste from Health Extremist
- Natural Toothpaste from Wellness Mama
And it’s the same story with mouthwash. Frugally Sustainable has a great post on the basics and how to customise your own.
Knowing when to call the dentist
From all the above, you might get the idea that I’m anti-dentist. Not at all.
Dentists are very useful people in the right context. Although I don’t follow the recommend every-six-months schedule, I have benefitted from the occasional visit. I am not a dentist. If you think you have a serious problem with your teeth, please go see one.
Having said that, there are many people out there who believe that it is possible to heal and reverse tooth decay without resorting to medical help.
A good starting point for further research is the Healthy Home Economist’s fascinating tale of how she healed her child’s cavity within days and how she believes you can even heal root canals through diet.
Whole Health Source also has a good summary on reversing tooth decay with diet.
Weigh in: How do you treat toothache? Do you make your own toothpaste? Are you diligent about looking after your teeth? Do you believe you can heal root cavities through diet alone?