How to Relieve a Toothache with Pressure Points

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

The ancient alternative medical treatment known as acupressure involves applying firm pressure to specific meridian points located throughout the body in order to alleviate tension, improve blood and lymph circulation, encourage relaxation or to eliminate pain. There are meridians or pressure points that are useful for relieving pain from a toothache. The technique merely requires locating the proper points and applying direct steady pressure for at least three minutes. Do not continue applying pressure if experiencing extreme pain. Acupressure also should not be a substitute for receiving proper dental care.

Cheekbone Points

Draw an imaginary line from the center of your pupils downward to the bottom of the cheekbones. Using the middle fingers, press this point up and inward toward the cheekbone. You may feel the sensation diminish in your face and jaw.

Jaw Points

The first point is on the muscle located between the upper and lower jaws and in front of the earlobes, which bulges when clenching your back teeth. Apply pressure to this muscle on both sides of the head. The next point is found by opening your jaw and locating the gap that forms just in front of the ear cavity. You may feel a tingling sensation when using pressure in this spot. The third pressure point is behind the ear at the height where your earlobes connect with your head. There is a natural gap that enlarges when opening your mouth. Press inside this gap.

Neck Point

Depending on the location of the affected tooth, you may feel pain radiate to the sides and back of the neck. Start at the base of the head and apply gentle pressure. Start massaging from the back of the head to the bottom of the neck in a circular motion.

Arm and Hand Points

Locate the area a couple of finger widths downward from the bottom of the deltoid muscle on the side of the body where the tooth aches. The deltoid is the large muscle that wraps around the top of the shoulder and extends down the outer side of the arm.

On the hand that correlates with the side of the toothache, find the point that lays at the same height as the base of the thumb and involves the muscle between the thumb and the index finger. Relax your hand and first apply direct pressure to the area. Now gently massage the muscle. Applying an ice cube to this muscle also interferes with nerve and pain transmissions.

Ankle Point

If pressure and massage to the previous points do not provide adequate relief, apply pressure to the region behind your ankle on the affected side. Press inward, work the area up and down toward the heel for two to three minutes.

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