Back at the Barnyard Escape from the Barnyard

"Escape from the Barnyard" is an episode from Back at the Barnyard from Season 1.


t's easy to think of teeth as simply being bones, but they're more than that. Your teeth are a multi-layered hardened tissue that are buried in your gums. Enamel and dentin are made up of minerals that protect the inside of your teeth (the pulp). This inner part of the teeth contains sensitive nerves and blood supply. Unfortunately, bacteria can damage the protective coverings (through a process called demineralization). Demineralization can lead to infection, inflammation and cavities.[1] Your dentist may recommend a root canal to clean the area and relieve the pain.

Take pain medication. Your dentist may prescribe a pain reliever for you to take after the root canal. If not, or if the pain is only minimal, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen according to the manufacturer's instructions.[2]

  • Although you'll be given pain medication during the root canal, you should take the OTC pain relievers within an hour after the root canal. This will give them a chance to start working before your anesthesia wears off.[3]

Use ice to relieve pain. Ice can temporarily numb the pain from your tooth. Place an ice cube or crushed ice on the tooth (as long as it's not sensitive to cold). Keep it there until you no longer feel pain or the ice melts. Or, place an ice pack over the side of your face for 10 minutes to help minimize any swelling.[4]

  • Never apply an ice pack directly to your skin. Make sure it is wrapped in a cloth, like a towel or a t-shirt, to prevent frostbite.
  • You can also make a compress to set over the tooth. Crush ice and put it in a balloon or in the cut-off finger of a non-latex glove. Tie off the end and set the compress over the tooth.

Use a saltwater solution. Relieve toothache by dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt in 4 ounces (118 mL) of warm water. Place some of this solution in your mouth and hold it over the painful tooth for 30 seconds to one minute. Spit out the solution and repeat this two to three times. Rinse out your mouth with warm water. You can do this up to three or four times a day, just don't swallow the saltwater.[5]

  • You can also use a vinegar solution. Mix ¼ cup of warm water and apple cider vinegar and keep it in your mouth over the painful tooth, just like the saltwater solution.
  • Try to avoid any alcohol consumption or even holding alcohol in your mouth, as it will produce dehydration of your mucosa and gums.

Bite down on a fruit or vegetable. Chill a slice of fresh ginger, cucumber, or raw potato and place it over your painful tooth. Or, you can freeze slices of banana, apple, mango, guava or pineapple and place the slices on your aching tooth. The cool fruit or vegetables can numb the pain.

  • You can also try cutting a piece of onion or garlic to place directly over your tooth. Bite down gently to release the juice.[6] Just remember to use a breath mint after this home remedy.
  • Eating ice cream may also reduce pain, especially if you feel a pulsating pain.

Make a tea compress. Take an herbal tea sachet or dip a clean cotton cloth in warm herbal tea.[7] Set the cloth or sachet over your painful tooth and leave it there for five minutes. Do this two or three times a day. Use one of these teas:

  • Goldenseal
  • Echinacea[8]
  • Sage (which can also treat gingivitis)[9]
  • Green or black (which can prevent oral cancer and cavities)[10]

Apply an asafetida paste. Take ¼ teaspoon of asafetida powder and mix it with enough fresh lemon juice to make a paste. Apply this directly onto the tooth. The lemon juice will help hide the bitter taste and unpleasant odor. Leave the paste on for five minutes before rinsing out your mouth. Repeat this two to three times a day.

  • Asafetida is a fennel-like plant that's usually used as a cooking spice in Indian foods. It comes as a powdered resin or as a lump of resin and can be found in Indian stores and markets.

Use a heat pack. Some people find that moist heat can help relieve pain the day after your root canal.[11] You can place either a small piece of cloth soaked in warm water or use a cloth soaked in an herbal tea directly on the tooth. Leave it on until the cloth is no longer warm. Repeat this three or four times a day.

  • You can also try baby teething gels. These contain a local anesthetic that may relieve the pain. Keep in mind that these gels aren't antimicrobial and won’t treat any infection.

Know when to contact your dentist. If you've tried several of these treatments, but find that you feel severe pain even a few days after your root canal, call your dentist. You should also get in touch with your dentist if you notice pressure that lasts several days following your root canal.[12]

  • Your dentist can prescribe pain relief medication if over-the-counter medications aren't reducing your pain.

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