While some people swear by home remedies, we encourage you to see The Dental Care Center by appointment if you are experiencing any of these frequent dental problems. However, we understand that you may not be able to see us right away. Here are some of the best over-the-counter (OTC) medicines or home practices that can relieve dry mouth, gum problems, and toothache.
Dry mouth can be very bothersome. First, you have to understand what is making your dry mouth occur. Then minimize whatever is causing it. Try breathing through your nose and drinking plenty of water. This should help keep symptoms of dry mouth to a minimum. Stimulate the production of saliva by chewing sugar-free gum or eating sugar-free candy. Also, limit caffeine and tobacco products.
There are some other things you can do while following the simple remedies above. Use oral rinses such as Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Mouthwash. These oral rinses contain xylitol, which will help with the production of saliva in your mouth. Don’t use rinses that contain alcohol because it will only make your dry mouth worse.
You can also try OTC saliva substitutes that contain xylitol like Mouth Kote or Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray, or ones that include carboxymethylcellulose or hydroxyethylcellulose, such as Biotene Oral Balance.
If your gums are swollen, red, or bleeding, try using a tartar-control toothpaste with fluoride. A proper oral hygiene routine is essential (brushing and flossing daily), but you can also add mouthwash to your routine to help control the swelling and inflammation of your gums. Make sure that this mouthwash also contains fluoride. Listerine mouthwash is our favorite. Also, try rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater — mix 1sp of salt into an 8-oz glass of warm water.
Use sprays containing chlorhexidine, which will combat the bacteria found in plaque. It will kill bacteria on contact and will prevent its regrowth. Gengigel gel stimulates the growth of healthy new tissue, through its restorative properties with hyaluronic acid. It is also believed to help increase your blood supply and reduce inflammation.
Toothaches are no fun. Try a benzocaine gel like Orajel to help numb the aching area and reduce swelling. Consult with your dentist before using these gels on children under the age of 2. Follow the instructions appropriately as displayed on the box. If your toothache is getting worse or more persistent, go ahead an make an appointment with The Dental Care Center.
You can also use OTC pain and fever-reducing medicine with acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil or Aleve. While taking these medicines, apply an ice pack (not a heat press) to the aching area on the outside of the cheek. Also, avoid eating or drinking anything that is very cold, hot, or sweet because this may increase the levels of pain.
Some other popular solutions include using garlic and saltwater rinses (same as above.) These remedies only provide short-term relief, so you may find yourself reusing them only after minutes if you want to go this route.
You may need an antibiotic for severe cases of these dental problems. Make sure you contact us and schedule an appointment if you are experiencing problems that are persistent and frequent, last longer than two weeks, or if you develop signs of infection.