10 Home Remedies for Toothache Pains

Blog Health 10 Home Remedies for Toothache Pains

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3.21.2023 0 comments

Toothache pain is, without a doubt, one of the worst types of pains the human body can experience!

One survey in the UK [1] even found that people believed it hurt worse than childbirth—that’s no joke.

Toothaches hurt so badly because of all the nerves around the painful area. It’s estimated that roughly 30-40% of the nerves in your entire body are in your mouth and face [2]. Imagine all those nerves sending pain signals from a tooth abscess at once. Ouch!

The first step, obviously, is to try and manage the pain, swelling, and any other symptoms that are present. Minor problems can be cured at home, but larger issues may require a dentist’s help.

Here are a few home remedies for toothache pains you can try to cure the problem before calling your dentist:

Salt Water Rinse – This is the most commonly recommended remedy for a toothache. Rinsing with a solution of salt and warm water can reduce inflammation, combat infection, and flush germs from the painful area [3]. It can also accelerate gum healing and speed up recovery from ulcers. Swishing the liquid around in your mouth may even dislodge debris and food particles lodged between your teeth, depriving the bacteria causing the infection of additional food.

The mixture is simple: stir ½ teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Use the mixture as a rinse, and swish it around in your mouth thoroughly before spitting. Rinse with the whole cup of water, and repeat 2-4 times per day.

Apply Ice – If the toothache is bad enough that it’s causing swelling, you may want to reach for the ice. Ice will combat swelling, numb the painful area, and reduce the pain. It’s definitely not a long-term cure, but it can make the pain manageable enough until you get to the dentist’s office.

Chew Cloves – Cloves contain eugenol, a potent antiseptic that can cleanse the bacteria and germs that are causing the painful infection. Chewing on cloves is a great way to improve your oral health and provide directed pain-relief in case of an abscess or swelling. For maximum results, try a few drops of concentrated clove oil directly on the painful spot.

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse – Swishing hydrogen peroxide around in your mouth can help to reduce pain, combat inflammation, and kill off bacteria [4]. It’s highly effective if your gums are bleeding or if you’re experiencing a build-up of plaque. Just make sure to dilute the hydrogen peroxide, at least 1 part water to 1 part hydrogen peroxide. Use it as a mouthwash, swishing it around in your mouth and spitting it into the sink. DO NOT SWALLOW!

Apply Peppermint Tea Bags – Peppermint is rich in menthol, a compound that can provide pain relief and soothe inflammation. Brew up a cup of peppermint tea and apply the tea bag directly to the painful area. When it dries out, dip the bag back into the tea and repeat. Or, put the cup of tea into the fridge until it cools, then apply the chilled peppermint tea bag for cooling pain relief.

Try Vanilla Extract – Natural vanilla extract (not the artificial stuff) can be a surprisingly effective numbing agent, thanks to its alcohol content. It’s also a potent antioxidant that can accelerate healing and eliminate bacteria. Dab a cotton ball into vanilla extract and apply it directly to the infected area. Repeat 2-4 times per day until the infection and pain subsides.

Use Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is a potent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent, which also has powerful antioxidant properties. Dilute the oil in a gentler oil (such as almond oil), and apply directly to the infected area using a cotton ball.

Chew Ginger – Fresh ginger is rich in zingerone, a powerful antioxidant that has seriously effective anti-bacterial properties. Peel a small piece of ginger and chew it as close to the infected area as possible, letting the ginger juice ooze over the painful spot. Try to keep the piece of ginger in your mouth for at least an hour or two, and it can help manage the swelling and pain.

Make a Turmeric Paste – Mix together turmeric (either crushed turmeric root or turmeric powder) with warm water to form a thick paste. Apply the paste directly to the infected spot and let it sit for as long as possible. Or, to really double down on the effectiveness of the remedy, mix the turmeric with honey, which also has powerful antibacterial properties.

Chew Garlic – This may sound unpleasant, but boy does it work! Garlic contains allicin, a sulfuric compound that is also a potent antibacterial agent that will kill off whatever bacteria are causing the infection. Not only can it cure existing pains, but it can eliminate oral bacteria and prevent cavities. Chew a clove of fresh, peeled garlic as close to the painful spot as possible. It may be tough to endure the taste and potency of raw garlic, and it definitely won’t make you any friends. But it will be worth it for that sweet, sweet pain relief and improved oral health!

In the end, these remedies are going to do two things: 1) relieve or minimize the pain, and 2) eliminate whatever bacteria are causing the infection or swelling that is behind the pain. However, remember that they are just REMEDIES, simple at-home solutions you can try for minor problems.

If the remedies don’t work, it’s absolutely vital that you get yourself to a dentist. Oral health problems can turn serious surprisingly quickly, and infections can spread out of control. If the pain, swelling, and other symptoms persist for more than 24-48 hours, it’s imperative that you have a dentist take a look at and prescribe the proper treatment for the problem.


[1] https://metro.co.uk/2016/04/27/13-pains-that-are-worse-than-childbirth-5844873/

[2] https://www.drhappysmiles.com/blog/which-is-more-painful-tooth-abscess-or-childbirth

[3] https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0159843

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4916793/


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