While dental science has progressed drastically over the decades, people fear to visit a dentist, especially for an issue other than general cleaning.
Despite the pain, many will avoid visiting a dentist for a toothache, which occurs primarily due to a cavity, a loose filling, an infection or a cracked tooth. The inner part of the tooth, known as the pulp, can also become infected, irritated or swollen and cause pain. (1)
Varying greatly from mild soreness to unbearable throbbing, the pain can be excruciating and seemingly everlasting.
Other symptoms that can accompany a toothache include problems chewing food, jaw pain, bad breath, discharge and gum inflammation.
- Natural Remedies for Toothache Relief
- Method 1: Use Salt and Pepper
- Method 2: Use Garlic
- Method 3: Use Clove Oil
- Method 4: Use Hydrogen Peroxide
- Method 5: Use Vanilla Extract
- Method 6: Use Baking Soda
- Method 7: Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
- Method 8: Use a Salt Water Rinse
- Method 9: Use Onion
- Method 10: Use an Ice Compress
- Tips to get rellief from toothache
Natural Remedies for Toothache Relief
While consulting a dentist is the best solution to get rid of the problem, using some instant natural remedies at home can relieve the pain temporarily and without medication.
Here are few effective natural remedies you can try to help get rid of toothache.
Method 1: Use Salt and Pepper
Salt mixed with black pepper is one of the most effective and quickest remedies for treating toothache, especially in case of an extremely sensitive tooth.
Both salt and black pepper contain incredible anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and analgesic properties that help reducing swelling (if any) and soothe pain. (3) (4)
Things you’ll need:
- Salt (healing properties) – 1 teaspoon
- Black pepper (antibacterial and analgesic) – 1 teaspoon
Step 1. Mix salt and pepper
- Put equal portions of salt and pepper in a bowl. We used one teaspoon of each.
- Mix the ingredients together.
Step 2. Add water to form a paste and apply twice daily
- Pour in enough water to form a paste and mix it well.
- Apply the paste directly on the affected tooth.
- Leave it for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
- Do this 2 times daily for a week to relieve toothache.
Method 2: Use Garlic
Garlic bursts with excellent anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve pain and discomfort immediately. It also contains allicin, a powerful antibacterial compound that slows down bacterial activity in the mouth. (5)
Things you’ll need:
- Garlic, minced (natural antibiotic) – 1 teaspoon
- Salt (natural healer) – ½ teaspoon
Step 1. Combine salt and garlic
- Put 1 teaspoon of minced fresh garlic in a bowl.
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt to the minced garlic.
Step 2. Mix and apply on the affected tooth
- Mix the salt well into the garlic.
- Apply the paste directly on the affected tooth.
- Leave it for 1 to 2 hours before rinsing it off.
- Repeat once each day as needed for the pain.
Alternatively, you can chew 1 or 2 raw cloves of garlic for quick relief from pain and discomfort.
Method 3: Use Clove Oil
Loaded with natural healing properties, cloves, and clove oil qualify as one of the most effective remedies for treating a toothache. Cloves contain eugenol, a primary chemical compound that serves as a natural anesthetic to relieve pain and discomfort. (7)
Cloves also have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help reduce swelling and fight an infection.
Things you’ll need:
- Clove oil (anti-inflammatory) – 4 or 5 drops
- Olive oil (healing agent) – 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Mix clove oil in olive oil
- Add 4 or 5 drops of clove oil to 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Mix the ingredients well.
Step 2. Soak a cotton ball in the oil blend and dab it on the affected tooth
- Soak a cotton ball in the oil solution.
- Dab and place it against the affected tooth for 30 minutes or until the pain recedes.
Alternatively, you can use powdered cloves on the tooth, or slowly chew a whole clove to release its oil.
Method 4: Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide, a cleansing aid, contains extra oxygen molecules that penetrate through the tooth to the kill the microbes inside the mouth, thus reducing pain, inflammation and infection.
Single-Step Treatment: Dab and swish hydrogen peroxide for 1 minute
- Swish about 15mL of 3% hydrogen peroxide for 30 sec.
- Alternatively, you can soak a cotton ball and dab it on the affected tooth.
- Swish it around in your mouth for about 1 minute.
- Spit it out and rinse your mouth.
- Use the rinse three times a day to relive pain and discomfort.
If you have 35% food-grade hydrogen peroxide, it will suffice if diluted to 3%.
Method 5: Use Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract contains alcohol, an ingredient that makes it incredibly good for getting rid of a toothache. It lacks scientific explanation, but the alcohol content in it is believed to work as a numbing agent to soothe pain and discomfort.
Single-Step Treatment: Soak a cotton ball in vanilla extract and apply 3 times daily
- Soak a cotton ball in vanilla extract.
- Place it on the affected tooth for 10 minutes.
- Repeat 3 times daily for effective results.
Alternatively, dab your finger in vanilla extract and rub it on the throbbing tooth and gums.
You can also use almond extract that has 37% alcohol and works even better to soothe your gums.
Method 6: Use Baking Soda
Baking soda, which has antibacterial properties, works amazingly to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth and thus reduce swelling and pain.
Step 1. Moisten a cotton swab in water
- Grab a cotton swab and moisten it with water.
- Blot it against a paper towel to get rid of any excess water.
Step 2. Coat the cotton swab with baking soda and apply on the tooth
- Dip the moist cotton swab in baking soda, making sure the tip gets coated really well with the soda.
- Hold the cotton swab against the affected tooth and gums for 10 minutes.
- Repeat 2 times daily for effective results.
Alternatively, mix a spoonful of baking soda into a glass of lukewarm water and swish the solution around in your mouth.
Method 7: Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and healing properties that help with a variety of pains, including a toothache.
Single-Step Treatment: Soak cotton in apple cider vinegar and dab on the affected tooth
- Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar.
- Hold it against the affected tooth for 7 to 10 minutes.
- Repeat 3 or 4 times a day for effective results.
Method 8: Use a Salt Water Rinse
A salt water rinse is another effective approach to treating a toothache. (8) Salt helps neutralize the effects of lactic acid in the mouth, thus slowing down the process of decay and relieving pain.
The warm salt water also draws out excess fluid from the tissues in the mouth, thus providing relief from inflammation, pain, and discomfort.
Step 1. Mix sea salt in warm water
- Pour 1 cup of water in a pitcher.
- Mix in 1 tablespoon of sea salt.
Step 2. Swish the salt water solution around in your mouth
- Swish the solution around in your mouth for 1 minute, then spit it out.
- Repeat the process 3 or 4 times a day until the pain subsides.
Method 9: Use Onion
Onions contain antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that work well for some to kill the germs causing any infection and thus controlling the pain of a toothache.
Single-Step Treatment: Chew raw onion for 10 minutes
- Cut a piece of fresh onion.
- Chew gently for 10 minutes to release the onion’s oil.
- Repeat the process twice each day for effective results.
Alternatively, if you are not able to chew the onion slice, place a piece of raw onion directly on the affected tooth.
Method 10: Use an Ice Compress
Ice works to numb the nerve endings, thus helping relieve dental irritation and decreasing inflammation, pain and swelling. (9)
Single-Step Treatment: Hold an ice compress outside the affected tooth
- Place some ice cubes in a clean cotton cloth.
- Grab the corners to bundle it into a compress.
- Place the compress on the jaw outside the area with the toothache.
- Keep rubbing it against the skin for 15 minutes.
- For effective results, do this 2 or 3 times a day but for not more than 15 minutes each time.
Tips to get rellief from toothache
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly to prevent dental issues and resulting toothaches.
- Swish regularly with an alcohol-free mouthwash.
- Consult your dentist before applying any antiseptic cream on the affected tooth.
- Incorporate vitamin C in your diet to help strengthen your teeth and gums.
- Try acupressure to soothe the tooth pain fast. Apply pressure at the point on the back of your other hand (where the base of your thumb and your index finger meet) for 2 minutes to trigger endorphins, the feel-good hormones.
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- NHS Choices. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/toothache/.
- Aravinth V, Aswath Narayanan MB, Ramesh Kumar SG, Selvamary AL, Sujatha A. Comparative evaluation of salt water rinse with chlorhexidine against oral microbes: A school-based randomized controlled trial. Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28914244. Published 2017.
- Zhang L, Lokeshwar BL. Medicinal properties of the Jamaican pepper plant Pimenta dioica and Allspice. Current drug targets. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3891794/. Published December 2012.
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- Taher YA, Samud AM, El-Taher FE, et al. Experimental evaluation of anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive and antipyretic activities of clove oil in mice. The Libyan journal of medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26333873. Published September 1, 2015.
- Kumarswamy A. Multimodal management of dental pain with focus on alternative medicine: A novel herbal dental gel. Contemporary clinical dentistry. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4906852/. Published 2016.
- Anyanechi C, Saheeb B. Toothache and self-medication practices: a study of patients attending a niger delta tertiary hospital in Nigeria. Annals of medical and health sciences research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4250986/. Published 2014.
- Romero-Reyes M, Uyanik JM. Orofacial pain management: current perspectives. Journal of pain research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3937250/. Published February 21, 2014.