Last Updated on May 19, 2023 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS
Toothache commonly afflicts both young and old. The causes are multiple. Tooth pain can be one of the strongest and most debilitating, even affecting the simplest daily activities. For many years, acupressure has been part of traditional Chinese medicine and has helped many people relieve illnesses by pressing the right pressure point for toothache. Numerous studies in alternative medicine prove it. In this context, we will indicate which pressure points to use in case of a toothache.
What is acupressure?
Acupressure is a technique of Chinese alternative medicine (natural and holistic) that consists of putting pressure on certain points of the body, using the fingers or other devices to control symptoms such as pain or nausea. The pressure signals the body to relieve tension, fix blood flow problems, and reduce pain. This can be done by self-massage, a professional, or even a friend.
How to apply force at pressure point for toothache. How does it happen?
According to studies, certain techniques have been shown to control pain. In a 2017 review, the researches indicate that the World Health Organization (WHO) has included acupuncture and acupressure as effective treatments for dental pain.
What you can do at home in a quiet, stress-free space to help you focus and improve the results:
- Get in a comfortable position
- Take a deep breath and try to relax your muscles and limbs
- Massage or rub each point with firm pressure
- Repeat as many times as you want
- Be sure to stop if severe pain occurs
A toothache can make it hard to eat, speak, and even think clearly. Pain in the mouth or jaw associated with dental problems – a tooth that hurts – is often nerve pain that can be sharp in one place or radiate to other parts of the face and head.
Acupressure is thought to help relieve toothaches by:
- changing the way the brain perceives and processes pain signals from the nerves
- deducing heart rate, blood pressure, and epinephrine in the body
- releasing the chemical adenosine, which relaxes the central nervous system
- releasing molecules called cytokines anti-inflammatory that help reduce inflammation
- increasing blood circulation, which can reduce swelling
- Increase the release of endorphins that play a vital role in the pain threshold
These effects do not address the cause of toothache, but they can temporarily relieve a toothache.
5 pressure point for toothache
If you are experiencing an acute toothache and cannot be treated by a dentist at the moment, you may apply acupressure to the main following points for different types of toothache as they can be very useful. Each pressure point is labeled with two letters and a number that can be used to find the diagram of where that pressure point is located on the body.
First Aid Pressure Point (SI 18)
SI 18 or small intestine 18 is one of the most important and the best pressure point for toothache; thus, it is frequently used as a first aid recovery point. This point is called the cheekbone foramen, and it is located on the lower edge of the cheekbone, directly down from the outer corner of the eye, across from the lower edge of the nose.
Apply pressure to this point to help relieve toothache and swollen gums. This point can be activated with the index and middle finger pressing firmly for one minute. During this process, be sure to breathe deeply.
Jaw Pain Relief (ST 6)
ST 6 or stomach 6 is another important acupressure point for tooth pain relief. It is located on the cheek, equidistant between the corner of the mouth and the earlobe; that is, in the middle of the jaw bone and the muscle that protrudes when the teeth are clenched. Apply pressure to the jaw muscle to help relieve tooth and jaw pain. Activate this point by pressing firmly with your thumbs for a minute and repeat if necessary. Don’t forget to take a deep breath. You may feel a tingling sensation when exerting pressure on this spot.
Anti-Inflammatory (LI 4)
LI 4 or large intestine 4 is an extremely popular acupressure point for curing all types of chronic pain. In fact, it is the most common solution for quick toothache relief. Press down on the membrane between the thumb and forefinger with firm pressure. Massage the area for 4-5 seconds while breathing deeply.
Stomach (ST 36)
This point gives quick results for toothache relief. People generally press it because of nausea, tiredness, and stress. It is located below the knee. If you place a hand on your kneecap, see where your little finger rests. You should apply pressure in a downward motion to the outside of the shin.
Gallbladder (GB 21)
This pressure point for toothache is located at the top of the shoulder, right in the middle between the end of the shoulder and the neck. It is used to relieve facial pain, neck pain, and headaches. A person should pinch the muscle with the thumb and middle finger, then apply pressure with the index finger while slowly releasing the pinch.
When should I go to the emergency department or a dentist
Although the pressure method is for the temporary relief of toothache, at no time should it replace medical or dental care. For this reason, if you experience any of the following symptoms, go to the doctor or a dental emergency center immediately:
- Severe pain
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling in the mouth, face, or neck
- Problems swallowing or breathing
- Difficulty seeing or double vision
The use of these and other pressure points in the acupressure technique can improve or relieve toothache without side effects. The condition should resolve after intervention by a general or specialist dentist, depending upon the case.
It is recommended to practice proper oral hygiene to prevent toothache. Brushing twice a day, using dental floss, and rinsing with mouthwash will ensure a healthy mouth, fresh breath, and a beautiful smile. If you want to know more, you will be able to get personalized advice at our facilities.
If you have any questions about this or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Island Family Dental and on our Facebook page. We look forward to your visit, and we will make a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in Oxnard, Saint Paula, Venture, Newbury Park, and Port Hueneme will be able to guide you towards the best treatment to take care of your health and give you back your best smile.
- NYSRA. 7 Major Acupressure Points For Toothache Relief: What To Know? New York State Reflexology Association (Internet). Consulted on Sep 16, 2022. Available on: https://www.nysraweb.org/acupressure-points-for-toothache/
- Qineng Tan, L.Ac., Ph.D. & Xiaomei Cai, L.Ac., Ph.D. How to Treat Toothaches With Acupuncture and TCM. Art of Wellness Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) (Internet). Consulted on Sep 16, 2022. Available on: https://myartofwellness.com/how-to-treat-toothaches-with-acupuncture-and-tcm/
- 10 soothing acupressure points to relieve toothache. Organic Articles (Internet). Review on Sep 10, 2021 (consulted on Sep 16, 2022). Available on: https://organicindiatoday.com/en/10-points-of-acupresi%C3%B3n-soothing-to-relieve-toothache/
- Sawyer, Tessa; Frank, Christine, DDS. Acupressure Points for Toothaches. Healthline (Internet). Review on Jul 26, 2018 (consulted on Sep 16, 2022). Available on: https://www.healthline.com/health/pressure-point-for-toothache
- Lewsley, Joanne; Archibald, Jennifer. What are the best pressure points for treating toothache?. Medical News Today (Internet). Review on Jun 30, 2020 (consulted on Sep 16, 2022). Available on: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/pressure-points-for-toothache