Pulp Fiction (and Fact): Treating Toothaches

By: Jennifer Sellers

Pulp Fiction (and Fact): Treating Toothaches
Image: Creatas/Thinkstock

About This Quiz

Home remedies for toothaches have always been a bit unusual. See if you know which ones are effective and which you should stay away from.
Which of the following disorders is not a possible cause of tooth pain?
backache
It's not uncommon for sinus infections to cause dental suffering. And rarely, tooth pain can be an indirect symptom of heart problems.
sinus Infection
heart attack

Advertisement

According to historians, ancient Babylonians believed the cause of a toothache was what?
drought
evil spirits
The Babylonians suspected that evil spirits created tooth pain.
tainted water

Advertisement

A Siberian folk remedy for toothaches involved gargling what combination of ingredients?
milk and salt
vodka and garlic
The Siberians relied on the vodka-garlic mixture. Today, some people use shots of whiskey for toothaches, but it's not a dentist-recommended treatment.
tea and milk

Advertisement

What is the name of a salve that was once a common treatment for tooth pain?
poultice
Poultice is a moist, warm, homemade salve of anything from bread or cereal to mashed beans or mashed beets. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was a folk treatment for many health problems, including toothaches.
dentaoyl
aloe

Advertisement

What's a common visual depiction of tooth pain in cartoons and drawings?
a hot water bottle on top of the head
a thermometer sticking out of the mouth
a cloth bandage wrapped around the head
Historians aren't entirely sure what the cloth bandage was for, but it may have been to keep the cheek warm or hold a poultice in place.

Advertisement

Which of the following is not a recommended home remedy for tooth pain?
pulling the painful tooth
Adults should always allow a dentist to pull a tooth if the professional determines the treatment is recommended. However, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and avoiding hard foods and hot and cold beverages can be done at home.
watching what you eat and drink
taking ibuprofen

Advertisement

One of the most common remedies for toothaches can be found in what location?
in your garden
in your medicine cabinet
Using an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain reliever is perhaps the simplest way to treat a toothache.
at the pharmacy, by prescription only

Advertisement

Which of the following pain relievers is most recommended for toothaches?
ibuprofen
acetaminophen
both
Most tooth pain is inflammatory pain, so any anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve it.

Advertisement

Antiseptic ointments with which ingredient are recommended for toothaches?
tea tree oil
acetaminophen
benzocaine
An ointment with benzocaine can help dull tooth pain, but it isn't recommended for children under the age of 2.

Advertisement

Which liquid can you apply to a cotton ball and then bite down on to ease a toothache?
chloroform
clove oil
Clove oil is a safe, time-tested treatment for dental pain. It can be found at many drug stores.
mouthwash

Advertisement

Which of the following beverages should you avoid if you have a toothache?
tap water
coffee
Extremely hot or cold beverages can make your pain worse.
warm milk

Advertisement

What part of popcorn can be damaging to teeth?
the heat from being microwaved too long
the salt
the kernels
When bitten the wrong way, popcorn kernels can break a tooth or get caught between teeth.

Advertisement

Which of the following seasonings is commonly used to treat a toothache?
salt
When mixed with warm water, salt is a popular treatment for sore teeth and gums.
chili powder
cumin

Advertisement

Massaging which area of the body with ice can help soothe a toothache?
the neck
the hand
Studies have found that massaging the hand in the area between the index finger and the thumb is effective at reducing dental pain for some people.
the stomach

Advertisement

What is the name of the acupressure point associated with relieving tooth pain?
L07
L23
L14
L14 is the area between the thumb and index finger that you can massage with ice to reduce the pain of your toothache.

Advertisement

Which side of the body should you practice acupressure or massage on to help reduce tooth pain?
the same side that your toothache is on
When practicing acupressure, such as massaging ice into the L14 pressure point, you should focus on the same side of the body where your tooth pain is. For example, if it's the left side of your mouth that hurts, massage your left hand.
the opposite side of where your toothache is
both sides of the body

Advertisement

Pressing what against the cheek may help to ease a toothache?
a hot brick
an ice pack
In ancient times, a hot brick was wrapped in a cloth and pressed against the cheek. Today, however, ice is recommended as an appropriate therapy.
your hand

Advertisement

What kind of pill should you apply directly to a painful tooth?
aspirin
arsenic
none
If you're going to take a pain reliever for a toothache, you should swallow it, not apply it to the gums or teeth. Aspirin can burn the mouth. And while arsenic was used for tooth pain long ago, it's not recommended today.

Advertisement

What is a symptom that indicates you should see your dentist right away?
pain
sensitivity to hot and cold
fever
A fever means you may have an infection. If you experience this symptom, you should see a dentist -- or doctor -- right away.

Advertisement

What is the best thing to do if you've tried a home remedy for your toothache but the tooth is still in pain?
try another home remedy
go to the emergency room
schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as possible
If you're still in pain after a couple of days, schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as possible. However, if you're also experiencing fever, chest pain, swelling, discharge or trouble breathing and swallowing, you should consider it an emergency.

Advertisement

You Got:
/20
Creatas/Thinkstock
Friends Quiz: Can You Remember These Obscure Details From Friends?
Friends Quiz: Can You Remember These Obscure Details From Friends?
If you consider yourself to be a huge "Friends" fan, then this is the quiz for you! Test your knowledge of the show by seeing if you can remember all these obscure little details from the series!
Explore More

Featured