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Dealing with occasional oral discomfort

Even with a diligent, daily program of conscientious oral health care, you may experience discomfort or other dental problems from time to time. The first step is always to contact your dentist about any significant changes in your oral health. In the meantime, try these home remedies to provide temporary relief from the problem:

Toothache - Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to ensure that there is no food or other debris caught between the teeth. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue.

Or, rinse the tooth with salt water; rub the sore area with numbing clove oil, which you can find in a health food store; and stick sugar-free gum over the tooth to minimize contact with food.

Lost filling - Rinse the tooth with warm salt water.

Loose crown - Make a paste from cornstarch and Vaseline and stick it back in place.

Bleeding gums - Squeeze water from a wet tea bag until damp and press it onto the bleeding area for about 20 minutes.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

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