Anyone who’s suffered through a late-night or weekend toothache can attest to the complete disruption it causes. Avoid a midnight run to the drug store with these home remedies. They can alleviate mild to moderate discomfort and you probably already have everything you need in a cupboard.
Dental pain can originate from a variety of issues, including cracked teeth, worn enamel, exposed roots and broken fillings. Preventative care is a critical component to oral health, but if you’re suffering acute pain or chronic sensitivity, give these remedies a try until you can get to your dentist.
Raid your spice rack. Cloves contain a numbing agent called eugenol which also has antiseptic properties. Place a few whole cloves in the mouth and let them soften. Lightly bite down on them to bruise them. This will release the eugenol. Let them sit against the troubled tooth for relief. It isn’t long-lasting, but for temporary pain, it’s a time-tested solution.
A salt water rinse is another safe way to alleviate oral pain. Mix a teaspoon of salt into one cup of warm water and swish it around the painful tooth. Repeat several times throughout the day. A salt water rinse can remove particles causing irritation, act as a natural disinfectant and reduce inflammation.
Lighten up. Clean teeth are the goal of brushing, but if you’re too vigorous, you may cause painful damage through root exposure and gum recession. A soft bristled brush reduces the risk of injury and allows delicate gums to heal. If your brush looks wildly frayed, review your brushing technique and go easier on your teeth and gums. Both the toothbrush and the technique are important to ease oral pain.
Toothpaste for sensitive teeth
While not quite a home remedy, you may find relief from toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth. Potassium nitrate toothpaste interferes with pain signals from the nerves of the tooth. Other helpful options are toothpaste that helps remineralize the enamel and create a protective barrier. These quick fixes may be an option if general sensitivity is causing your toothache.
Often used in tooth whitening products, hydrogen peroxide also has antiseptic qualities. A mixture of equal parts water with 3% hydrogen peroxide can be swished in the mouth for 15-30 seconds to reduce gum swelling, kill bacteria and ease pain.1 However, never swallow hydrogen peroxide and this rinse should not be used for children.
Suffering from a toothache is never a fun way to spend an evening, so keep these home remedies on hand. Most important? If pain persists, get a professional dental evaluation. Early treatment can prevent a simple problem from becoming more serious.