Monday, May 13, 2013

Essential Home Remedies: Mouth


Hello and welcome to my fourth and final entry of the “Essential Home Remedies” four-part series I’ve been working on. I’ve already covered skin (here), stomach (here), and sinuses (here), and today I’ll take a quick look at the mouth. I hope you find some of these remedies helpful! Please remember that I am NOT a licensed medical doctor and these articles’ sole purpose is informational. Make sure to check with a doctor before testing these out.

The old-fashioned remedy of cloves can help kill tooth pain.
The old-fashioned remedy of cloves can help kill tooth pain.
Image: Shutterstock

Toothache: It’s not always convenient or even possible to get to a dentist when you have a toothache. There are store-bought remedies available to soothe the pain, but the traditional method of using cloves can work just as well. You can do this in a few ways. To make an antimicrobial clove mouth rinse, steep 10-12 cloves in half a cup of water for 10 minutes. When it is room-temperature, swish a mouthful’s worth around for about 30 seconds. Use the remaining liquid to do one or two more rinses. This both cleans the mouth and reduces pain. A second option is to use clove oil or extract and apply it directly to the affected tooth. Put a few drops of the eugenol or essential clove oil onto a cotton ball and then apply it to the gum line and tooth.

Fever Blisters/Cold Sores: Many people suffer from herpes virus cold sores these days, and unfortunately it’s not something that can be cured completely. But prevention and treatment is possible with the use of L-Iysine, which comes in both ointment and tablet form. Covering active sores up with petroleum jelly will also help them heal faster and keep infection at bay. Real licorice also has an ingredient called glycyrrhizic acid, which has been successful in stopping the cold sore virus from spreading further. Check the ingredients list for licorice candy, and if it has “licorice mass,” that means it’s real and could be helpful in moderate amounts.

Use alum on kanker sores to numb and speed recovery.
Use alum on kanker sores to numb and speed recovery.
Oral Ulcers/Sores (nonviral): These are typically treated with a prescription mouthwash that is made up of Maalox, Benadryl and Xylocaine. But those without a prescription can make do by mixing equal parts of Maalox and Benadryl to create a mouth rinse—just make sure you spit it all out and rinse well. You can also use a Q-Tip or eyedropper to just apply a tiny amount to the affected area. However, my favorite remedy is using granulated Alum, a trick passed down from my mother. Alum can be found in the spice section of the grocery store and is a white powder. Wet your finger and then apply the alum directly to the sore, completely covering it. Let it sit for 2-5 minutes (try not to let it get all over your mouth) and then rinse it out thoroughly. Do your best not to swallow it. It will sting and taste terrible, but it will abate the pain for quite a while and help with healing.

Mint naturally numbs and reduces pain.
Mint naturally numbs and reduces pain.
Image: Shutterstock
Mouth Pain: Mint is a great option for mouth pain, as it has a natural numbing effect. Chewing mint leaves, mint gum, mint candy, or even drinking mint tea can help reduce pain from sores, burns, and sore throats. It’s a great remedy for kids and adults, as it tastes much better than any medicine you can buy. 
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