Pulp Fiction (and Fact): Treating Toothaches

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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?

It's not uncommon for sinus infections to cause dental suffering. And rarely, tooth pain can be an indirect symptom of heart problems.

According to historians, ancient Babylonians believed the cause of a toothache was what?

The Babylonians suspected that evil spirits created tooth pain.

A Siberian folk remedy for toothaches involved gargling what combination of ingredients?

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.

What is the name of a salve that was once a common treatment for tooth pain?

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.

What's a common visual depiction of tooth pain in cartoons and drawings?

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.

Which of the following is not a recommended home remedy for tooth pain?

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.

One of the most common remedies for toothaches can be found in what location?

Using an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain reliever is perhaps the simplest way to treat a toothache.

Which of the following pain relievers is most recommended for toothaches?

Most tooth pain is inflammatory pain, so any anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve it.

Antiseptic ointments with which ingredient are recommended for toothaches?

An ointment with benzocaine can help dull tooth pain, but it isn't recommended for children under the age of 2.

Which liquid can you apply to a cotton ball and then bite down on to ease a toothache?

Clove oil is a safe, time-tested treatment for dental pain. It can be found at many drug stores.

Which of the following beverages should you avoid if you have a toothache?

Extremely hot or cold beverages can make your pain worse.

What part of popcorn can be damaging to teeth?

When bitten the wrong way, popcorn kernels can break a tooth or get caught between teeth.

Which of the following seasonings is commonly used to treat a toothache?

When mixed with warm water, salt is a popular treatment for sore teeth and gums.

Massaging which area of the body with ice can help soothe a toothache?

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.

What is the name of the acupressure point associated with relieving tooth pain?

L14 is the area between the thumb and index finger that you can massage with ice to reduce the pain of your toothache.

Which side of the body should you practice acupressure or massage on to help reduce tooth pain?

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.

Pressing what against the cheek may help to ease a toothache?

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.

What kind of pill should you apply directly to a painful tooth?

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.

What is a symptom that indicates you should see your dentist right away?

A fever means you may have an infection. If you experience this symptom, you should see a dentist -- or doctor -- right away.

What is the best thing to do if you've tried a home remedy for your toothache but the tooth is still in pain?

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.

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