I have a confession to make to everybody.
I absolutely dread going to the dentist. It doesn’t matter what the reason for the visit is — everytime that I know I have to go, I end up filled with anxiety.
Even when I end up dealing with a toothache, I’d rather do everything I can to relieve it from home before calling to book that appointment.
And wouldn’t you know it?
It turns out there’s all kinds of incredibly effective home remedies for toothaches out there.
So if you’re in the same boat as me, and you’re looking for some relief from home, this article is for you.
I’ll be sharing the top 15 home remedies for a toothache that actually work.
Quick Post Guide
- 1 Top 15 Home Remedies For a Toothache
- 1.1 Proper Oral Care – Brushing and Flossing
- 1.2 Over-the-Counter Pain Remedies
- 1.3 Rinse With Salt Water
- 1.4 Rinse With a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
- 1.5 Put Some Ice On It
- 1.6 Dabble With Clove Oil
- 1.7 Rinse With Peppermint Tea
- 1.8 Apple Some Garlic Paste
- 1.9 Ginger & Cayenne Combination
- 1.10 For Adults Only – Apply An Alcohol Solution
- 1.11 Chew On Raw Onion
- 1.12 Myrrh
- 1.13 Juice It Up With Wheatgrass
- 1.14 Rinse It With Guava Leaves
- 1.15 Thyme
The Most Common Causes of a Toothache
If you’re experiencing pain in any of your teeth, there’s a number of different things that could be causing it.
Here’s a brief list of some of the most common causes of toothaches to try and help you pinpoint the root cause of your pain (no pun intended).
- Not brushing or flossing properly – If you brush or floss with too much pressure, you may cause irritation and inflammation that leads to tooth pain.
- Teeth grinding – Every now and then I experience this one in my sleep — if you are prone to teeth grinding you may experience harsh pain in your teeth or even your entire jaw!
- Gingivitis – The precursor to more complicated oral health issues, beyond just making your gums bleed, gingivitis can cause pain and damage to your teeth as well.
- Tooth Sensitivity – Many people find that they experience pain in their teeth after eating or drinking something that is either too hot or too cold — such as a hot cup of coffee or a scoop of ice cream.
- Tooth Decay – Probably the most common cause of a toothache, this can be caused by a number of things, but a cavity is the usual culprit.
That list is far from exhaustive when it comes to all of the causes of a toothache.
There’s several other things that could be causing pain in your teeth, including alignment issues with orthodontics, misaligned teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, damage to any fillings you might have, and tooth fractures or abscesses. https://www.123dentist.com/top-10-reasons-toothaches/
With that out of the way, it’s time to take a look at the best home remedies that you can use for pain relief.
Top 15 Home Remedies For a Toothache
The following list of 15 toothache remedies are all proven to be highly effective when it comes to providing you with relief.
Everything listed below should be items that you already either have on hand in your home or things that are easy to find at your local grocery or health food store.
Proper Oral Care – Brushing and Flossing
The first home remedy that we’re going to be talking about is pretty much common sense, but you’d be surprised at what a huge difference it can actually make.
I used to be guilty of rarely, if ever, flossing my teeth. Let me tell you — there’s a reason why they say you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily as well.
Once I started to add flossing into my daily regime, it made a noticeable difference in how often I experienced painful toothaches.
The American Dental Association (ADA) strongly recommends that you clean between your teeth once a day. Brushing alone, while an important part of oral hygiene practice, is simply not enough.
By flossing between your teeth, you are better able to remove sticky plaque and help to prevent cavities and gum disease. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/flossing
As we briefly mentioned above, gum disease and cavities are two of the most common causes of toothaches, so when attempting to find relief, it’s best to start with the basics first!
You should aim to brush your teeth twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. If you regularly experience toothaches, it’s highly recommended that you use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/teeth-sensitivity/sensitive-teeth-causes-treatments-prevention
You should also floss once a day using a soft floss. The timing doesn’t matter for the flossing — the important thing is that you remember to do it every day.
Over-the-Counter Pain Remedies
The next most common way to relieve toothache pain from home is with the use of over-the-counter (OTC) pain remedies.
There’s typically two varieties used when it comes to the pain caused by toothaches — pain relievers (such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen) and anesthetic gels that contain benzocaine.
For children, it’s generally recommended to give them acetaminophen in the form of Tylenol for relieving fever and pain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796971/ Adults may opt for an anti-inflammatory NSAID medication instead, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. They’re effective for relieving both fevers and mild aches and pains, such as those caused by a toothache. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/pain-relievers-nsaids#1
Meanwhile, most OTC anesthetics contain the active ingredient benzocaine, which works quickly to numb your mouth and provide fairly long lasting relief. It should be mentioned that the use of anesthetics such as this are meant for short-term use only.
When deciding to use either form of OTC remedy, it’s important that you follow the recommended dosage instructions printed on the labels. Many people think that all forms of OTC medication are completely safe, and they couldn’t be more wrong. There can be many serious side effects associated with some OTC meds, making it absolutely essential to properly follow all recommendations in order to use them safely.
Rinse With Salt Water
A salt water rinse has long been one of the first remedies that people turn to not only when it comes to relieving toothache pain, but also for a wide variety of mouth and throat ailments as well.
Salt has been used medicinally as an anti-infective and anti-inflammatory dating all the way back to ancient Egypt. In fact, after my last dental cleaning, my gums felt a little bit sensitive.
What advice did the dental hygienist give me?
Swish salt water around in my mouth twice a day — and it made a huge difference!
The reason this approach is so effective is due to two factors — its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its ability to help kill off harmful bacteria. A salt water solution will temporarily boost the pH balance in your mouth, creating a more alkaline environment in which bacteria will struggle to thrive. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/mouth-sores-and-infections/how-salt-water-mouth-rinse-benefits-oral-health-1214
In regards to salt water and its ability to lower inflammation, researchers at the University of Manchester have found that solutions containing a high amount of ions, such as salt water solutions, are able to draw water out of swollen white blood cells, causing them to shrink back to their original size while also sending a signal to the brain to deactivate inflammation. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/a-solution-to-reducing-inflammation/
In order to use this home remedy, simply mix half a teaspoon or a full teaspoon of salt into about eight ounces of water. Swish the mixture around in your mouth for a few minutes, being sure to push and pull it between your teeth.
Make sure you spit the solution out afterwards; don’t swallow it!
Rinse With a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Similar to the previous remedy, swishing a hydrogen peroxide solution around in your mouth can be incredibly beneficial for relieving toothache pain.
It should come as no surprise — when I was growing up, it seemed like my mom would use hydrogen peroxide as a cure for just about everything.
Scrape your elbow?
Pour some peroxide on it.
Add some peroxide.
It only makes sense that it would also make an effective toothache remedy.
The reason it works is because it acts as a mild antiseptic. Its molecular structure enable it to actually kill off harmful bacteria through oxidation. This release of oxygen is what produces that well known foaming reaction. This is simply the peroxide removing dead skin and harmful organisms while also cleaning the affected area. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-76035/hydrogen-peroxide/details
A mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide is great for relieving toothache pain by reducing plaque build-up and healing bleeding gums caused gingivitis.
It’s vital to make sure you use only a food-grade 3% hydrogen peroxide solution when using it as a mouth rinse. The solution should be properly diluted by mixing the peroxide with equal parts water. Swish it around in your mouth and be absolutely sure not to swallow this mixture — it can cause the burning of oral tissue and abdominal pain if swallowed.
Put Some Ice On It
The age old advice of “just put some ice on it” applies to toothaches as well.
This is an especially effective remedy if your toothache has been caused by some sort of trauma, as ice therapy is excellent for reducing swelling and inflammation.
Anyone who has ever experienced any type of sports injury or a muscle sprain knows all about the importance of alternating hot and cold therapy. When it comes to that dull ache in your teeth however, it’s better to focus strictly on using some sort of cold compression as opposed to heat therapy.
When you apply cold therapy to the affected area that you’re experiencing pain, it works by forcing the heat out of the area, causing a sudden drop in temperature. This sets off a chain reaction of events — the metabolic rate of your cells suddenly slows down rapidly, causing them to require less oxygen. Your blood vessels will begin to constrict, delaying the flow of any fluids to the painful area, which in turn reduces the swelling and inflammation. This approach also works to numb the nerve receptors that send pain signals to your brain, providing you with immediate relief. http://coolntape.com/how-it-works/how-cold-therapy-works/
It’s important to keep in mind that you should never apply ice directly to your skin when using cold therapy. Instead, you should use a towel to either wrap ice cubes or a bag of frozen vegetables (I like to use peas), and apply it to your affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time.
You can feel free to apply the cold compress every few hours or so.
Dabble With Clove Oil
We’re now moving into some of the more natural sources of toothache remedies with this next selection.
Cloves have a long history of being used as a numbing agent. This spice is so potent that it was one of the most highly valued spices next to nutmeg back in the 16th and 17th centuries. Cloves were held in such high regard that they were even a cause of warfare back then! In this day and age, cloves, and especially clove oil, is still just as valuable thanks to it’s fantastic medicinal properties.
The reason cloves are so good at relieving toothache pain is due to the primary chemical compound they contain, a natural anesthetic known as eugenol. In addition to helping numb your toothache pain, eugenol also contains potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and beneficial cardiovascular properties. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21299140
When using clove oil as a toothache remedy, it is very important that you use it in moderation only and take extra care when using it. You definitely don’t want to get clove oil all over your gums or tongue! Instead, place a couple drops on a cotton ball and use that to apply it to your aching tooth. You can optionally dilute it further with some water as well if you still find it too strong.
Alternatively, you can use some powdered clove or even place a whole clove on to your affected tooth.
Rinse With Peppermint Tea
If you’re already a fan of peppermint tea, then you’ll be happy to know that aside from being a delicious beverage in its own right, it’s also an incredibly effective home remedy for toothaches.
Peppermint is one of those herbs that is just incredibly versatile — you can add raw peppermint leaves into many types of recipes, use peppermint oil for a variety of aromatherapy benefits and pain relief https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5192342/, and of course, make a wonderful cup of peppermint tea.
Peppermint oil is commonly applied directly to the skin to treat a wide variety of ailments, such as headache, muscle pain, nerve pain, toothaches, and inflammation of the mouth. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-705-peppermint.aspx?activeingredientid=705&activeingredientname=peppermint I prefer to use peppermint tea for pretty much the same purposes however.
There’s a couple of different ways that you can use peppermint tea to relieve your toothache. The first is by simply making the tea as you would normally, then swishing it around in your mouth for a bit before spitting it out. Alternatively, you can just take the teabag itself and apply that to the affected area. Either one of these methods can be highly effective, and I’ve personally experienced great results with using both of them.
As an added side note, if you prefer other tea varieties, such as green or black tea, you still may be able to gain some benefits for your toothache pain with them. They contain anti-inflammatory and astringent tannins that can help ease pain and reduce swelling. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3401676/
Apple Some Garlic Paste
There’s all kinds of foods out there that many people have taken to labelling “superfoods”.
Some of these claims are without a doubt unfounded, while others are actually able to live up to that label. Garlic is without a doubt one such superfood. It has been used for several thousand years to not only add flavoring to food, but also for it’s fantastic medicinal properties as well.
The main compound found in garlic that makes it such a potent medicinal substance is allicin.
Allicin is not only fantastic to use for a toothache due to its anti-inflammatory pain relieving properties, but it also has benefits when it comes to reducing your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease as well. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103721/ In fact, the allicin found in garlic has so many incredible health benefits, it’s possible to fill an entire A-Z encyclopedia with them! http://www.allicinfacts.com/about-allicin/medical-uses/
So how do you go about using garlic to relieve your toothache? You have a couple of options. You can crush a garlic clove until it creates a paste-like texture and then apply it to your painful tooth. I personally prefer to just chew on a fresh garlic clove; it works just as well.
Ginger & Cayenne Combination
This home remedy serves as an incredibly effective one-two punch when it comes to relieving a toothache.
Ginger and cayenne both contain some amazing benefits for your health when used individually, but when you put them together? It’s like switching to the “extra-strength” version of your preferred painkiller medication!
Wondering what makes this combination so effective? Let’s take a closer look at each of these spices. First up, ginger contains a compound appropriately called gingerol, which has demonstrated benefits as an anti carcinogenic substance. Other than that, it also has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/
One interesting fact that many people are unaware of as well is that gingerol is actually closely related to capsaicin, the active compound that is found in many spicy foods, such as jalapeños and cayenne pepper. Capsaicin ends up providing even more anti-inflammatory pain relief, as well as a lot of potential benefits when it comes to treating and preventing many different types of chronic disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27771922
In order to get the most out of both of these spices to relieve your toothache pain, I recommend mixing them together along with a little bit of water to make a paste. Since this mixture can end up being quite potent, if you’re not accustomed to the heat, you can roll a cotton ball in the mixture a little bit and then apply it to your affected tooth.
For Adults Only – Apply An Alcohol Solution
I can vividly remember that when I was growing up, any time that I ever complained about a toothache and my grandfather was around, he would always say I just had to drink some bourbon.
While my parents (thankfully) never took his advice to heart, it turns out that my grandfather wasn’t entirely wrong with his recommendation. Bourbon, along with scotch and whiskey, is considered to be an effective remedy for aching teeth.
Alcohol does indeed have certain effects on helping to provide relief from the pain caused by toothaches https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4412487/. The problem is that in most cases, when people are using alcohol to relieve any type of pain, they tend to end up abusing the drug.
However, when used responsibly, a cotton ball soaked in a little bit of bourbon and applied directly to the affected tooth can provide quite a lot of pain relief for you. Many people actually use vanilla extract as well as a home toothache remedy, as it contains trace amounts of alcohol that help to numb a painful toothache.
In addition, vanilla extract also contains eugenol, the active compound found in cloves, making it even more effective. https://www.1dental.com/articles/dental/using-vanilla-extract-for-toothache-relief/
Chew On Raw Onion
Using raw onion as a home remedy for your toothache functions in much the same manner as garlic does.
The medicinal uses of onions have been known for thousands of years, and ancient Egyptians even believed them to be an object of worship. Throughout history, many varied cultures have used them as a remedy for several different ailments.
Many studies have noted the excellent antibacterial properties of allium cepa L (the primary active compound in onions) and it’s useful ability to help fight off many types of oral bacteria. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9354029
Onion extract has actually been found to be just as useful as garlic extract in killing harmful germs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6669596
When it comes to toothache relief, raw onion can help to rid your mouth of the bacteria that can build-up and contribute to your painful symptoms.
In order to use raw onion as a home remedy, you can either chew on a small piece for a few minutes until your pain is relieved or simply place the same sized piece directly against your affected tooth and leave it sit.
Both methods can be highly effective at relieving toothache pain.
We’re now moving into some toothache remedies that are rather unknown when compared to previous entries on the list, but don’t let that put you off — many of the following remedies are just as effective if not more so than things like garlic and onion!
You may have to visit your local health foods store to find the following items, but trust me, it will be worth your while. First up, let’s look at myrrh. This sap-like substance has been valued and traded throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa for nearly 5000 years.
When it comes to treating toothaches though, you’ll mainly be interested in finding yourself some powdered myrrh. As an added benefit, not only will you find that myrrh relieves your painful toothache thanks to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, but it also works to improve your overall blood lipid profile as well. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4576796/
The best use of the powdered myrrh for treating your toothache is to make a mouthwash solution out of it. Heat up a single teaspoon of the powder in two cups of water for 30 minutes or so, and then strain it before letting it cool off. You can then take one teaspoon of this myrrh solution and mix it in half of a cup of water to use as a mouthwash every few hours to help relieve your pain.
Juice It Up With Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass is an incredibly nutrient dense remedy that you can use to treat your painful symptoms.
In fact, I regularly use it as an ingredient in fresh juices and smoothies because it provides so many great health benefits. It’s packed full of essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and it has a high chlorophyll content that helps to kill bacteria. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/wheatgrass/faq-20058018
Aside from being a great ingredient to use as an everyday health booster, it can be specifically used to target a dull aching tooth when used as a mouthwash. It contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that will help your body fight off any infections that could be the source of your painful symptoms. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5376535/
To benefit from using wheatgrass for your toothache, I recommend using a juice extractor in order to make wheatgrass juice for the best results. Once you’ve got your juice prepared, simply use it as a mouthwash to relieve inflammation and prevent infections within your mouth.
Rinse It With Guava Leaves
Many people are well aware that the guava fruit can provide some incredible health benefits.
But did you know that those beneficial properties also extend to the leaves of the fruit? It’s true! Guava leaves are used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including diarrhea, hair loss, and high cholesterol.
The reason that guava leaves work so effective to combat your painful toothache symptoms is that they possess potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3817707/
There has been an extensive amount of research done over the decades to examine the therapeutic potential of guava leaves, and the findings are indeed promising. It has potential to be used as a treatment for many of the most common worldwide diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5412476/
To use it from home for your toothache, you can simply chew on fresh guava leaves until your symptoms begin to improve.
Alternatively, and the method that I prefer, is to boil guava leaves in water to make a highly effective mouthwash solution.
Just like the other herbs on this list, thyme possesses powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that can help to provide relief from the pain caused by toothaches.
Thyme has many potential uses — I personally use it in many different recipes to add flavor or decoration to a dish. More importantly, the flowers, leaves, and oil of thyme are used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions.
Thyme’s ability to reduce inflammation and kill harmful bacteria in your mouth works as two-pronged approach to relieving your toothache pain.
Thyme oil in particular has a long history of being used as an antiseptic, and it’s actually one of the most powerful antioxidants in existence. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22313307
To relieve your toothache pain, I recommend using thyme oil and adding a few drops of the essential oil to a cotton ball along with some water. You can then apply to the affected area.
A second option is to make a mouthwash solution, by adding a drop or two of thyme oil to some water and then rinsing your mouth with it.
A Final Note on Toothaches
It can be incredibly unpleasant to have to deal with a painful toothache while having to wait until your dentist has an opening available to get you in.
Or, if you’re like me, perhaps you’d rather exhaust all other options available to you before throwing in the towel and booking that dentist appointment.
Depending on the cause of your toothache, by using the remedies above, you’ll be able to get immediate, long-lasting relief for your painful symptoms. All of the remedies in this guide are proven to be effective, and many of them can help to completely cure your toothache by eliminating the harmful bacteria that are causing it.
However, if your toothache is caused by something more serious, such as tooth decay, these remedies will simply act as a short-term band-aid.
In those cases, even I have to admit that you’re going to have to visit your dentist to properly address the issue. In the meanwhile, at least you’ll be able to find some relief from the pain by using these home remedies!
Did you find this article useful?
Do you have any questions about any of these remedies? Or maybe you know of another effective home remedy that helps relieve toothache pain?
If so, please share it down in the comments below!
Also, as always, please consider sharing this article with your family and friends if you think they would find it helpful as well.
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