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12 Home Remedies for Toothaches That Actually Work

If you’ve ever dealt with a toothache, you have one concern – getting relief. Whether the pain is sharp and intermittent, or dull and constant, a toothache can be more than an unforgiving annoyance; it can ruin your entire day or keep you from sleeping at night.

Because you want the pain to go away as quickly as possible, you may wonder if there are any at-home solutions you can try. Of course, you want to safeguard your oral health, so anytime you are experiencing an issue with your teeth or gums, visiting the dentist is a must! But to alleviate the pain until you can see your dentist in St. Petersburg, FL, give some of these methods a try for addressing your toothache at home.

Twelve Toothache Remedies You Can Try at Home

Toothaches can be caused by various reasons such as tooth decay, gum irritation from food, a broken tooth, repetitive motions such as chewing, removal of a tooth, or an abscessed tooth. Although these are all possibilities,  the most common reason people experience toothaches is because there’s an irritation of the nerve in the root of the tooth. 

Many of the remedies below work by calming inflammation in your mouth, killing harmful bacteria, or acting as a numbing agent for minor issues. Most of these types of toothaches are preventable by regularly flossing, brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and going to your 6-month dental cleanings.

These tips are not a cure all for a toothache that is causing you extreme pain. Tooth decay can progress into the nerve, creating sensitivity to hot and cold and if left unattended can turn into pain or throbbing sensation. If you’re experiencing an intense toothache, it will need treatment right away. Please contact your dentist and book an appointment.

Note: If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a medical condition that might preclude using treatments that utilize herbs, consult your doctor before use.

1. Ice

Applying ice to the area of the painful tooth can help to numb the pain. You can try different versions of this technique. Wrap some ice in a towel and apply it to the affected area. Keep the compress in place for 15 minutes at a time. Also, you could try holding ice water in your mouth for several seconds at a time. Don’t bite the ice, however, as it could break your teeth.

2. Elevate Your Head

Although it may be difficult to get to sleep when you have a toothache, lying down can exacerbate your pain because blood pressure to your head increases when you are in a flat position. When going to sleep, try propping your head up with pillows or sleep upright in a chair, if possible.

3. Over the Counter Medications

Medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen target inflammation and can thereby give you some pain relief. Alternating acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) can give better pain relief. Certain gels can also be applied directly to your tooth and gums to ease your pain.

4. Salt Water Rinse

Rinsing your mouth with salt water can serve two purposes. The rinsing action can help to dislodge substances stuck between your teeth. And because salt is a natural disinfectant, it can help deal with any infection by reducing inflammation. Mix a ½ teaspoon of salt with warm water and gargle like a mouthwash.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Hydrogen peroxide is also useful for attacking inflammation and bacteria. When using a hydrogen peroxide rinse, mix 1 part three percent hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts water. Do not swallow the solution. Use it as a mouthwash.

6. Tea Bags

You can apply either a cold or warm tea bag to your tooth. If applying a used tea bag, make sure that it has cooled down so that it is not hot but is still warm. If you prefer the cold option, try placing a used tea bag in the freezer for a few minutes, then apply it to your tooth.

Peppermint tea may be especially good for toothaches due to its bacteria-fighting properties. However, tea can stain your teeth, so don’t use this method often.

7. Garlic

In addition to combating bacteria, garlic is also a pain reliever. You can make a paste out of crushed garlic that you can apply to your tooth. You can also chew on a piece of fresh garlic clove or soak a cotton ball in garlic oil and place it on your tooth.

8. Vanilla Extract

Another natural anti-inflammatory, vanilla, can also help to numb the pain caused by a toothache. Try putting a small amount on your finger or a cotton swab and applying it to the affected area a few times a day.

9. Clove

There are several ways you can use this spice to treat your toothache. Since clove is an antiseptic, it is useful for reducing inflammation and pain. You can put clove oil on a cotton ball and apply it to the painful area or place a drop of the oil directly on your tooth. Alternatively, you can also put a drop of clove oil into a glass of water and use it as a mouthwash.

10. Guava Leaves

Guava leaves have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that can help to soothe your aching tooth. You can use the leaves to make a tea that you allow to cool and use as a rinse or simply chew on the leaves to get some relief.

11. Wheatgrass

There are many benefits of wheatgrass that make it a useful means of treating your toothache. Like many of the other methods mentioned, it is great for addressing infections caused by bacteria. So, simply get some wheatgrass juice and rinse it in your mouth a few times a day.

12. Thyme

Thyme oil can be used as a rinse or applied directly to your tooth. To rinse, add a drop of oil to a glass of water and use it as a mouthwash. To apply to your tooth, dilute some oil with water, place a few drops on a cotton ball, and put on your tooth.


While these remedies can provide temporary relief, you should not consider them replacements for professional dental care. When you are experiencing a toothache, it’s vital that you call us and make an appointment to have the tooth evaluated and treated.

At Klement Family Dental, we have been providing quality dental services to the St. Petersburg community for over 40 years.

We are happy to offer same-day appointments in the event of a dental emergency like a toothache. If you are dealing with mouth pain caused by a tooth or other condition, please contact us as soon as possible so you can be seen by a dentist right away.