Pro tips to help relieve migraines and toothaches

Migraines and toothaches are two forms of pain that can severely restrict your daily living. Here are a few pro tips to help you manage the pain before you can see a doctor or dentist.

Pro tips to help relieve migraines and toothaches

Treat and prevent a migraine

Every migraine sufferer has their own particular symptoms and tried-and-tested relief remedies, often retreating to a quiet, darkened room as a first resort. These tips, though, may also help.

  • At the first signs of an aura (flashing lights or zigzags), try sucking barley sugar or eat a spoonful of honey.
  • Eat regular, light meals to keep blood sugar levels constant. Keep a food diary to identify potential triggers in your diet.
  • Stay active. Although strenuous exercise can bring on migraine, moderate aerobic exercise promotes general well-being and can reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.
  • Painkillers can help to nip an attack in the bud, but avoid those containing codeine, which can cause rebound headaches. Painkillers containing caffeine, or even just a strong coffee, may help some sufferers.
  • The herb feverfew — available as a supplement from pharmacists — is a much-used headache remedy and some people find that it can help to prevent migraines, though medical studies are inconclusive.
  • If you're taking the contraceptive pill, consider trying another brand, as hormone cycles can be linked to migraines. If you experience migraines with an aura, avoid the pill altogether, as this can increase the risk of stroke.

Relieve toothache

If your tooth hurts enough to search for a remedy, it's time to see a dentist. However, here are a few tips to help you manage the pain while you wait for an appointment.

  • At the first slight discomfort, drink hot liquids. For a continuous ache, hold a cold pack to your jaw and take some painkillers.
  • Rinse your mouth every hour with warm salt water. Hold the strong brine in your mouth and swish it around your teeth before spitting out. Unrefined grey sea salt, which is rich in minerals, is the most effective.
  • Clove oil is a natural dental painkiller. Dab a little on a cotton swab and hold it to the affected tooth (avoid touching it to your tongue, if possible).
  • Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial and pain-relieving properties; apply in the same way as clove oil.

While migraines and toothaches can be debilitating, these tips can help offer some relief and make the pain manageable. Like with any pain, it is best to see a doctor if these remedies do not help or if pain persists.

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