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or other dental emergency.

I have fairly decent teeth and I take decent care of them. I did make a serious mistake when I was younger by allowing a dentist to drill and put fillings in my teeth.  If I had known at the time that my teeth would naturally remineralize themselves, I'd have skipped the drilling and filling and needing to have one tooth pulled because the dentist over-drilled.

Since I learned my teeth will automatically remineralize themselves, I've stopped being treated for cavities, and any spotted in one dental visit will have disappeared by the next visit. Some research is going on to remineralize your teeth naturally - I've seen toothpastes with that on the label.

But I have issues with the dental fillings and the teeth I allowed the dentist to drill and fill. I've lost 3 fillings, one loss was accompanied by breaking the edge of the tooth.

Every time that happens, it has to happen at the start of a holiday when dental offices are closed. Most dental emergencies are not life-threatening, so people generally have to live with the pain a day or two or three. Last time it happened, I'd just had hand surgery and couldn't get to a dentist for a week.

Or, if you hurt your teeth during a disaster and your tooth issues are far down the triage list, it might even be weeks before you can get treated for your dental issues.

You really, truly don't have to suffer.

There are some things you can do to make it better until you can get to a dentist.

The red cross makes and sells what they call a Toothache Complete Medication Kit. It's not really complete, but it's a good start.  The Dentek Kit is marginally better because it contains cement for temporarily replacing a lost filling.

Those two, in combination with gentian violet and 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide will complete a dental emergency kit.

When you have a dental emergency and can't get to a dentist for a couple of days, first, brush your teeth (yes, it will probably hurt, but cleaning any wound is painful).

Dilute the hydrogen peroxide 50/50 with water and rinse your mouth. It will foam, a lot if your mouth is germy, not so much if it's clean.

Take the Red Cross kit, which contain a pair of tweezers, a box of the teeniest cotton balls, and a bottle of dental grade clove oil.  Use the tweezers to pick up one teensy cotton ballette. Dip it into the clove oil, then place it on the injured tooth.  Use the tweezers to keep it in place.  Let it sit there for approximately 90 seconds.  This will give the clove oil time to penetrate and numb the area.  It's what dentists use to numb your gums before giving you shots in your gums. It works on tooth pain, too. Discard the teeny cotton ball.

It will taste terrible.  It's cloves, after all. Don't worry, the flavor dissipates quickly.

Now, for added protection until you get to the dentist, take the gentian violet and place one or two drops onto your tooth. It will discolor your tooth to purple. It may discolor your inside cheek and gums, too.  That's OK, the hydrogen peroxide rinse will remove the discoloration the next time you repeat these steps.

Now, you can take aspirin or some other pain reliever, and apply gentle moist heat to the jaw for 15 - 20 minutes.

If you're careful, you should be able to eat meals relatively pain free until you get to the dentist.

You can repeat the steps 2 - 4 times a day.  You should see a dentist as soon as possible because this is not a long term solution. It's just a temporary one. Your tooth may feel infinitely better and you may think you cured the problem, but you still need to see a dentist to be sure. Especially if a filling fell out, you'll need to have it replaced.

I haven't used the tooth cement, so I don't know if it would work or make things worse.

Rinsing your mouth with diluted 50/50 3% hydrogen peroxide will also whiten your teeth and it doesn't have the sting of most commercial mouthwashes.

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