5 Toothache Remedies to Try at Home

Helpful Dental Information Chicago, IL

A toothache is a painful condition that occurs in and around the teeth and jaws and may be caused by tooth decay, inflammation, missing or broken fillings, or receding gums. It is advisable to see a dentist right away if the pain persists for more than a day or two. Before going to the dental appointment, though, there are home remedies for temporary relief.

Home remedies for toothache

The following are toothache remedies that can be made at home.

A cold compress or ice pack

An ice pack or a cold compress is an ideal dental pain reliever, particularly if an injury or swollen gums is causing the toothache. Patients should try holding an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas against their cheek above the sore tooth for a few minutes. The cold treatment constricts blood vessels, limiting blood flow to the affected region and consequently, numbing the ache and alleviating swelling and inflammation.

Saltwater rinse

Swirling warm saltwater in the mouth will help loosen debris stuck in cavities and between teeth. It can also help with swelling and sore throat relief. To make a saltwater rinse, dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and swirl it in the mouth for a few seconds before spitting it out. Patients can repeat this as many times as necessary.

Peppermint tea

Because of its numbing properties, peppermint tea is an ideal home remedy for toothache. Menthol, the ingredient that gives peppermint its minty taste and aroma, is also antibacterial. Patients can steep one teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves for about 20 minutes in a cup of boiling water. It can be used after it has cooled.

Holding a lukewarm, wet tea bag against the tooth for several minutes can also function as a pain reliever. For a temporary fix, apply a few drops of peppermint oil to a cotton ball, and put it on the affected tooth.


Cloves have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are effective in the treatment of tooth and gum infections. It contains eugenol, a chemical compound with anesthetic effects. A small cotton ball dipped in drops of clove oil can be used on the affected tooth. Patients can also use dried whole cloves. To release the oil from a whole clove, gently chew it, and put it over the affected tooth for about 30 minutes.


Humans have used garlic for medicinal purposes for centuries. It contains a substance called allicin, which has antibacterial effects. A fresh garlic clove should be blended and mixed with a pinch of salt before being applied to the affected tooth.

Visit the dentist

These home remedies, including the use of pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, are only intended for short-term relief. If a toothache lasts longer than a day or two, patients need to visit the dentist immediately. If tooth pain is not addressed promptly, it can lead to more severe issues, like gum disease or a dental abscess.

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