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Fiction: An Aspirin on the Gum Line Relieves a Toothache

Forget this old home remedy; you’ll burn sensitive gum tissue. If you have a toothache, swish with warm salt water, floss, then gently brush your teeth to dislodge any trapped food and take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever such ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Pain-relieving oral gels containing benzocaine or oil of cloves may also ease pain temporarily. Most importantly, see your dentist as soon as possible. Toothaches may be caused by infection, gum disease, grinding or clenching. They can also be a sign of a sinus or ear infection. Jaw pain could even be angina, a symptom of heart disease that causes discomfort when the heart doesn't get enough blood.

(CREDIT: D. Solomon/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)
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