Having a toothache can ruin your day. The pain is sharp and pronounced, making it difficult to do everything from eating and drinking to talking. Toothache pain can be caused by a variety of factors including sensitive teeth, inflammation, tooth decay, cracked teeth, and gum disease.
The best way to fight toothache pain is to treat the underlying cause. In the meantime, you can get relief from the intense pain by using natural remedies backed by science. Here, you’ll find seven home remedies for toothache pain that you can use to feel better.
The Best Home Remedies For A Toothache
1. Clove Oil
Clove essential oil is a staple of the alternative medicine world. The oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling in blood vessels that can cause throbbing pains. Cloves contain a natural antiseptic compound known as eugenol.
Research shows that clove oil may help protect against tooth decalcification — a condition that can lead to tooth pain (1). The Journal of Dentistry published a study showing that homemade clove gel was as effective as benzocaine gel in reducing toothache pain compared to a placebo (2).
To use clove oil as a toothache relief, apply 3 to 4 drops to a cotton ball or cotton pad. Combine the clove oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil to prevent irritation. Place the cotton ball directly on the affected area for one to two minutes. Repeat as needed.
2. Warm Salt Water Rinse
Salt has long been used as a disinfectant. Many people use warm salt water rinses to help alleviate pain from a sore throat. You can also use this rinse to help soothe pain from a toothache. The salt can help remove pieces of food that may be hiding in between your teeth and can reduce the risk of dental cavities.
Start by warming up a cup of water in the microwave or on the stove. Add 1/2 a teaspoon or a full teaspoon of salt to the warm water. Swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds to one minute and then spit it out into the sink. Repeat as needed throughout the day.
3. Cold Compress
Cold and hot compresses are popular methods for temporary relief from all types of aches and pains. For pain relief for a toothache, cold compresses tend to work better than hot ones. The cold temperature reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels, thus providing pain relief.
Use an ice pack or place a couple of ice cups in a Ziploc bag and wrap in a thin cloth. Apply the cold compress directly to the affected tooth for 15 to 20 minutes. Let the painful tooth rest for 15 minutes before reapplying the cold compress.
4. Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is widely beloved for its sweet and aromatic fragrance. Research shows that vanilla may also possess mild to moderate analgesic properties (3). Additional research shows that vanilla extract boasts antifungal and antibacterial properties that may help prevent or treat infections that cause tooth pain (4).
To promote oral health or use vanilla extract as a pain reliever, place a small amount of the essential oil on your fingers or on a cotton ball. Combine with a carrier oil and apply directly to the sore tooth as needed.
5. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is a delightfully refreshing beverage that may help alleviate pain. The drink delivers a sharp and invigorating flavor paired with an enticing and brisk aroma. Peppermint leaves contain a compound known as menthol, which is responsible for the flavor profile of the tea and the analgesic health benefits of the plant.
Research shows that the menthol in peppermint leaves and peppermint tea bags helps to improve blood flow and adds a cooling sensation to relieve pain in sensitive teeth (5). Even better, drinking peppermint tea may help combat bad breath. Studies show that the menthol in peppermint tea can help eliminate bacteria that cause bad breath and plaque (6).
Drink a cup or two of peppermint tea to help boost overall oral health. Simply add a teaspoon of peppermint leaves — from a premium brand like Cup & Leaf — to boiling water and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. To get relief from toothache pain, you can apply a warm or cold tea bag directly to the affected area.
6. Garlic Cloves
Garlic has natural antibacterial properties that can help fend off infections that may cause tooth pain. Research shows that compounds in garlic work to decrease inflammation to reduce symptoms of pain (7).
To use garlic as a toothache pain reliever, grind a clove into a paste. Combine with clove oil and apply to the affected tooth using a cotton ball. Alternatively, you can use garlic essential oil. Note that garlic may cause irritation to the gum line. Use sparingly and dilute as needed.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse
Hydrogen peroxide is a known disinfectant that can help remove bacteria and plaque that cause toothaches. It’s particularly effective against oral bacteria (8). Hydrogen peroxide may also help to whiten teeth by eliminating plaque and stains (9).
Mix equal parts water and 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Swish the mixture in your mouth for 30 seconds and rinse. Hydrogen peroxide may be toxic or cause harmful side effects if ingested. Do not swallow the mixture to avoid problems.
Toothache Pain Relief
Proper oral care can help you avoid most dental issues including tooth decay, gum disease, and dental pain. Brush and floss your teeth after each meal and schedule a visit with your D.D.S. twice a year to keep those pearly whites happy and healthy.
If you have a dental emergency, seek medical attention from a qualified practitioner immediately. They can help figure out the cause behind your toothache and whether you need an advanced procedure such as a root canal. They may also be able to recommend over-the-counter medications or prescription medications to treat your condition.
For minor to moderate toothache pain, you can help soothe symptoms using natural remedies. These toothache remedies may not solve the underlying problem, but they may help alleviate pain and discomfort until you can seek further treatment.