Toothache, Rashes And Psoriasis

Published: 23rd September 2011
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‘I told you so’ is not the thing to say to a victim of toothache for they will already have perceived the point of oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist and all they will wish is for the pain to be removed. Toothache appears to occur most frequently at night or during the holiday period, making the need for an instant panacea of paramount importance.

Sweets, sugary foods and fizzy drinks are appallingly detrimental to the care of teeth and gums. The acid and sugar combine to make the noxious plaque in which bacteria can fester and cause gum disease and tooth decay. A good diet from birth with the correct balance of vitamins and minerals in necessary for the development of strong teeth but even with the best possible advantages regular visits to the dentist are essential and so is regular cleaning of the teeth after each meal. Contrary to popular belief an apple is no substitute for this routine, so if you cannot clean you teeth after meals buy one of the special chewing gums which dentists recommend as being better than nothing. Use dental flos and toothpicks (and use them gently) to remove small particles of food from between the teeth – this will do much to ensure healthy gums.

At one time toothbrushes and toothpaste were unheard of and the bark or twigs of shrubs were used with pains taking care to keep the teeth free of detritus. The end of the stick was chewed and softened until frayed and carefully infiltrated into every crevice in the mouth. Elder wood twigs were most commonly used in the british Isles but most countries throughout the world had their own favourites.

Considering that years ago the victim of toothache probably had to live with it until the tooth rotted in his head (the alternatives being too awful to contemplate), a great deal of thought was given to the best ways of preventing this happening. Appealing to Divine intervention was obviously thought the best method for the most powerful talisman one could carry around was the double jaw bone of a very ancient haddockproving no doubt that you were a good Christian, knew of the haddock’s Biblical connections and had no right to suffer the purgatory of toothache. Another merry thought was a religious script proclaiming one’s desire to lead a good, toothache-free life, and this was carried around the neck for double indemnity. Rabbit’s or sheep’s teeth were also carried in a small leather bag near the throat or failing either of these amulets a hedgehog’s skull or double hazelnut which does not look unlike a large double tooth – were guarantee that should toothache strike the pain would be transferred to the charm. Another ancient rhyme suggests that one should chew the first fresh fern of the year as insurance against toothache and of this one would be guaranteed as it would have probably caused death instead.

It is interesting to note that although the majorit of hare-brained superstitions were practiced by the wealthy as well as the lowly it was the country folk who were the ones to employ sensible practices to keep their mouths healthy. They used elder toothpicks the elder vinegar as a mouthwash, they strengthened their gums by rubbing them with blackthorn or sage leaf and they made a variety or kitchen powders using soot, salt, charcoal, burnt bread or rye meal and herbs to cleanse and whiten the teeth at the same time as they stimulated the gums and disinfected the mouth.

Preventative Measures to Take Today

* Garlic Take garlic perles daily. Rub the gums with garlic or pound a clove of garlic in vinegar and water and use as a mouthwash. All these are recommended to prevent gum disease and disorders but I would advocate following this treatment with a strong, cloveflavoured rinse to render you less antisocial.

* Alfalfa tablets These will strengthen the gums.

* Vitamin E oil Massaging the gums with vitamin E oil will both soothe and heal any soreness and keep the gums free from disease.

* Eucalyptus Oil Massaging the gums with this is a very sensible method of keeping the gums strong and free from disease. An excellent mouthwash which will soothe sore gums can be made by bringing 15g (1/2oz) of eucalyptus leaves slowly to the boil in 1 litre (1.75 pints of water. Simmer for five minutes, cover tightly and cool. Strain and add 2 drops each of oil of cloves and tincture of myrrh. Bottle, seal and keep refrigerated. One of the good home remedies for Toothache.

* Blackthorn leaves Infused in boiling water these make a gum-strengthening rinse. The juice from blackthorn leaves was reputed to harden the teeth in their sockets.

* Lavender or rose water or mild infusions of aniseed, thyme, peppermint or marjoram all of these are healing and refreshing mouthwashes.

Tooth Powders and Pastes

Leaving aside such mixtures as salt, onions, acacia leaves and other unmentionable ingredients which were favorites of the Egyptians, making and using your own tooth powders and pastes is safe and sensible.

* Bicarbonate of soda Being slightly abrasive, bicarbonate of soda will remove stains. Mix 2 tablespoons each of dried, finely ground lemon peel, bicarbonate of soda and fine sea salt. Pot and seal tightly.

* Strawberries Strawberry juice has been used to strengthen gums and remove stains. The following procedure seems a trifle long-winded but in reality only take a few minutes and leaves the teeth truly clean and white, removes tartar and stains, soothes sore gums and ensures sweet-smelling breath. Pulverize 2 large strawberries and use the pulp on a soft brush to clean the teeth and gums. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a cup of warm water and rinse the mouth well. Dust a little bicarbonate of soda on to the toothbrush and brush well. Rinse again with a cup of warm water to which you have added a few drops of tincture of myrrh (this helps strengthen the gums).

* Gum myrrh Five teaspoons mixed with 100g (4oz) of bicarbonate of soda strengthens the gums.

* Cinnamon tooth powder for sensitive teeth Take 2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder and 4 tablespoons of arrowroot. Mix together and store in an airtight container. Mix a small amount to a paste with water when needed. If the teeth are not too sensitive a pinch of salt may be added for extra cleansing power.

* Salt In an emergency salt can be used alone and is very effective. Rinse afterwards with a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide.

* Orris root As well as in cosmetics and talcums this powder has long been used in preparations for cleaning the teeth. The following recipe is very old fashioned but the ingredients are obtainable at herbalists and independent chemists.

Orris Root Tooth Powder

225g (8oz) precipitated chalk

15g (1/2oz) rice atarch

Mix together and store in an airtight container.

Toothache Stopgaps

This is the point at which you have to visit the dentist unless you take the advice of one ancient medic who advocated henbane, in which case you will never visit one again (henbane is a poisonous plant). Another favourite was to throw the seeds of henbane on to a hot dish and inhale the vapours through the open mouth which I suspect was extremely narcotic and would put you out of your misery fairly sharply.

* Clove The most popular remedy for toothache is to rub oil of cloves on to the gum around the aching tooth or to plug the cavity with cotton wool which has been saturated with the oil. Children with sore gums caused by teeth coming through or loosing their baby teeth will prefer it if the oil is mixed first with a few drops of almond oil. Chewing a clove on the aching tooth will also bring transitory relief – if you can bear the pressure. Oil of marjoram can be used instead of cloves. One of the popular home remedies for toothache.

* Onion or garlic juice Cotton wool soaked in either of these can be used to plug and disinfect the cavity.

* Alcohol Painting the gum with hot brandy, holding neat whisky or brandy in the mouth or plugging the tooth with cotton wool soaked in the alcohol all work well for adults.

* Marsh mallow A gentle and especially nice way of soothing sore gums and helping small children to cut their teeth is to buy the root (stick) and allow them to mumble on it. At one time the delicate pink flowers of marsh mallow were softened and chewed to ease aching gums and teeth but they are now so rare that this is no longer practical. What a pity that our native streams, where marsh mallow once grew freely, are so polluted by chemicals that we have had to resort to synthetic soothers.

* Thyme or sage infusion Place 1 teaspoon of either herb in 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Hold in the mouth and swill it around well to reduce inflammation and infection when gums as well as teeth hurt. One of the useful home remedies for toothache.

* Comforting warmth Rather than placing a bag of hot salt on the cavity or poulticing the swollen jaw with tar as prescribed in days gone by, take refuge in applying hot flannels to the painful area or rest your aching face upon a pillow of warm hops which will have the effect of easing pain and making you deliciously drowsy.

Your skin is completely waterproof; it protects your insides, and its self repairing. Forget nylon, and other "miracle" fabrics – your skin puts them all to shame.

We think of the skin as being invariable, but in fact it’s changing all the time. Every day individual skin cells grow, die, fall off, and then are replaced by new cells. This process generally lasts about four weeks. When you have psoriasis, however, the entire process is accelerated. Skin cells go through their life cycles in four days instead of a month. The cells aren’t formed quite right, so they don’t shed as quickly as they’re supposed to. As a result, cells pile up, forming dry, red, scaly patches, especially on the elbows, scalp, knees, or torso.

Doctors still don’t know what causes psoriasis. It is known to have a hereditary link, and the immune system may be involved as well. It isn’t contagious and it isn’t dangerous, but it can be unsightly. It also tends to get worse during times of stress or when the skin gets dry and irritated.

In addition, there are things you can do at home to keep the flare ups from taking over.

Soak up some sun. Nearly everyone with psoriasis tries to spend at least a few minutes a day in the sun. Research has shown that sunlight is very effective for reducing skin inflammation and scaling. If you live in a chilly northern clime and are not able to bask in the sun’s rays, your doctor could recommend that you treat your skin with artificial rays from a special lamp or a tanning booth.

Keep your skin moist. Using moisturizer on a regular basis is essential when you have psoriasis. You don’t have to use anything fancy. Many people find that dabbing on a little petroleum jelly can help prevent skin cells from building up. Moisturizers that contain lactic acid can also be very effective. Moisturizers work best when they’re applied right after bathing or showering, doctors say, because they help lock in moisture.

Make a soothing bath. Taking a long bath can soothe the itch of psoriasis temporarily, but it also dries out the skin. Doctors often advise adding a little colloidal oatmeal to the water, which will help your skin stay softer.

Mix some relief. During psoriasis flare ups the skin can get extraordinarily itchy. For quick relief, mix about a quarter cup of baking soda in a few quarts of water. Soak a towel in the mixture, wring it out, and apply it to your skin for a soothing compress. Adding vinegar instead of baking soda to the water will also calm the itch.

Don’t drink alcohol. Doctors aren’t sure why, but drinking alcohol often makes psoriasis worse. For some people, in fact, even a drink or two can put the skin into an uproar. You may want to try drinking less or even stop entirely for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve.

A rash is one of the most telltale signs that something is bothering your skin. when you’re are under stress, sick, or have had a close encounter with insects or poisonous plants, the skin may display its unhappiness for all the world to see, in the form of a red, itchy, irritating rash.

What can make some rashes so annoying is their sheer unpredictability. They can come out of the blue, leaving you (and your doctor) wondering what the heck caused them. But it often doesn’t matter all that much. Most rashes are easy to treat regardless of the cause.

Here are ways to keep your skin happy.

Bathe in cool water. Spending ten or fifteen minutes in a cool bath will often make rashes feel better and many help speed them on their way. Cool compresses are also effective. Don’t bathe in hot water, however, because that will often makes your rashes worse.

Take comfort in tea. A traditional remedy for rashes is to brew a pot of chamomile (babunah) or comfrey tea and use it to make a tea compress. Let it cool until it’s comfortably warm. Then soak a towel or gauze pad in the tea and apply it to the rash for ten to fifteen minutes. You can repeat this treatment as often as necessary.

Turn down the heat. Rashes often occur during hot, humid weather. As it name implies, this is especially true of heat rash, which results in tiny pink bumps on the neck, upper back, or other parts of the body that get hot and sweaty. In most cases, this type of rash will disappear as soon as you’ve showered, dried off, and exposed the rash to air. It also helps to stay in air conditioned areas or to use a fan and to wear comfortable clothes that help keep moisture away from the skin.

Stop the inflammation. A very effective treatment for most rashes is to apply over the counter hydrocortisone cream. It helps stop inflammation and itching very quickly and is very safe to use, just be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if hydrocortisone is all right for the type or rash that you have.

Learn to relax. The skin is very sensitive to emotional changes. Doctors have found that people who experience the most stress are often the ones most likely to get rashes. To keep your skin calm, you have to keep mind and emotions calm, as well. Doctors often recommend that people who get rashes take up meditation, yoga, or other activities that can reduce stress and help you feel calm and in control.

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