How to Treat a Toothache at Home

Have you ever woken up to a throbbing toothache? Gaining quick relief can be frustrating, especially if you don’t have access to a dentist. You need not panic! This article will show you how to treat a toothache at home.

Quick facts: Treating Toothache At Home

  • ✅ Salt water rinse is a common home remedy for toothaches. Source: American Dental Association
  • ✅ Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can reduce pain and swelling associated with toothaches. Source: American Dental Association
  • ✅ Clove oil can help reduce toothache pain due to its natural anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties. Source: Healthline
  • ✅ A cold compress can help reduce inflammation and soothe toothache pain. Source: Mayo Clinic
  • ✅ A warm tea bag can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain associated with toothache. Source: WebMD

Pain Relief

When you experience toothache, the first step is to get some relief from the pain. Fortunately, you can try some home remedies to help lessen the pain without having to visit the dentist. Here, we’ll look at some of the common methods that you can use to provide some temporary relief from a toothache.

Take over-the-counter painkillers

One of the simplest and most effective methods to reduce the pain associated with a toothache is to take over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers, especially if your doctor has approved their use. OTC painkillers like ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen are designed to reduce inflammation, while aspirin can help reduce the pain by decreasing blood flow to the affected area. Additionally, some OTC medications also provide temporary relief from swelling or inflammation.

It is important to follow all instructions on the medication’s package for proper dosage and usage. Generally, it is advised that adults should not take more than four doses in 24 hours. You should also talk with your doctor about any potential interactions before taking any OTC medications for a toothache.

Apply a cold compress

Applying a cold compress to the outside of your face can help reduce the pain caused by a toothache. To do this, place crushed ice in a plastic bag and wrap the bag in a clean towel. Place the towel against your cheek over the affected area, being careful to not press too hard. Applying pressure directly onto the affected tooth could cause additional discomfort.

Leave it in place for 10-15 minutes, removing it every few minutes to allow your skin to rest before replacing it again. The cold compress can help reduce swelling and numb any nerve endings that may be causing you pain.

It is important to note that applying a cold compress will only give temporary relief from pain, and not treat any underlying issues that may be causing it in the first place.

Use clove oil

Clove oil can help alleviate toothache discomfort as it contains eugenol, which is a compound with natural antiseptic and potent analgesic properties.

To use clove oil for toothache relief, place a few drops of the oil on a cotton ball and apply it directly to the affected area. You can also add one or two drops of clove oil to a glass of warm water and swish it around in your mouth for a few minutes. Additionally, you may opt to use diluted clove oil on your gums by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil with two drops of clove essential oil. This mixture can be applied directly to the affected area three times a day.

While clove oil is generally considered safe when used as directed, some people may experience mild skin irritation (when applied directly) or an allergic reaction (when ingested).

Home Remedies

Toothaches can be quite painful and inconvenient, but luckily there are some simple home remedies that you can use to help alleviate the pain and discomfort.

From using a cold compress to gargling warm salt water, we’re going to discuss the various home remedies available to help treat a toothache:

Try salt water rinse

One of the most popular home remedies for a toothache is to rinse your mouth with warm salt water. It is an effective way to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain due to its antiseptic properties. It also helps clean out any food particles that may be stuck in between your teeth.

To make a salt water rinse, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Afterwards, spit it out and rinse your mouth with regular water. It can be done one or two times a day until you feel better.

Apply garlic to the affected area

Garlic is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, which make it an effective home remedy for toothache relief. Allicin, a compound found in garlic has been found to have pain-relieving properties.

To use this method:

  • Crush one garlic clove and mix it with some rock salt or pepper.
  • Apply this mixture on the affected area and leave it there for around 10 minutes before rinsing your mouth with warm water.

This can help to reduce inflammation and pain related to the toothache. It’s important to note that garlic may cause a burning sensation or irritation when applied so make sure you dilute the mixture with equal parts water before applying it to your teeth. Additionally, avoid using garlic if you’re pregnant as there is not enough research done yet to determine its safety in this population.

Use an herbal tea bag

Using a moistened tea bag to treat an aching tooth is one of the most popular home remedies. Simply wet a tea bag (ideally one with an herbal base such as chamomile) and apply it directly to your affected tooth. The warmth and moisture in the tea bag will help to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation in the area. Additionally, some of the active ingredients from the herbs may be able to provide additional relief from pain or infection.

This remedy can be repeated multiple times per day for best results. It is important to remember that this is not a cure for your toothache but merely designed to provide temporary relief until you can seek professional help.


Preventing a toothache is the best way to avoid any discomfort or pain. Good oral hygiene is the key to prevention. Make sure to brush twice a day, floss daily and use mouthwash to reduce the build-up of plaque and bacteria. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings will also help to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Practice good oral hygiene

Practicing good oral hygiene is a key step in preventing and treating toothaches. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing between your teeth daily, and tongue scraping to remove any bacteria or plaque that may be on your tongue. Mouthwash is recommended to help reduce plaque and prevent gum disease, which can lead to toothaches if left untreated.

As part of this routine, you should also visit the dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup. This will help ensure that any potential cavities or other problems are caught early, before they become more serious issues that could cause a toothache.

Avoid hard candy and other sugary foods

One way to treat a toothache at home is to avoid hard candy and other sugary foods. Eating hard candy can increase the pain of a toothache as it puts pressure on the sensitive area of the tooth and can aggravate already-inflamed tissue. In addition, sugary foods and drinks can increase your chances of developing cavities or other dental problems, which may cause or worsen a toothache.

If you must eat something sweet, opt for something like frozen yogurt, which doesn’t require you to chew. Lastly, if you do eat something sweet, be sure to brush your teeth afterwards in order to minimize the risk of further damage and pain from cavities or gum disease.

Visit the dentist regularly

Visiting the dentist regularly is one of the most important steps to preventing a toothache. Regular dentist visits allow for early diagnosis and treatment of any underlying dental issues such as cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and other problems that could potentially lead to a toothache.

In addition to regular checkups, brushing two times a day and flossing once daily can help prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria on your teeth that leads to many common dental issues. Using an antimicrobial mouthwash has been known to reduce tooth decay, gingivitis, and other oral health conditions. Finally, eating healthy foods such as vegetables and avoiding sugary treats can also help keep your teeth free from cavity-causing bacteria.

When to See a Dentist

If your toothache persists despite attempting home remedies, it is time to seek professional help. Additionally, if you notice any signs of a more serious problem such as swelling, severe pain, or any other issues, it is important to visit a dentist as soon as possible.

There are a few other reasons why you should see a dentist, which we will discuss in this article:

If the pain persists

If toothache pain persists for more than one or two days, it is important to seek professional dental care. The longer a person waits to get their teeth checked out, the greater the risk of infection or further damage. If a person experiences intense pain that radiates throughout their jaw or they experience swelling around the affected tooth, they should contact a dentist immediately.

If over-the-counter medications are not relieving pain and discomfort, they should make an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. As some dental problems can become more serious if left untreated, it is important that people contact a dentist right away in order to receive prompt and effective treatment for their toothache.

If there is swelling

If your toothache is accompanied with swelling, it’s important to see a dentist immediately. Swelling may indicate an infection of the pulp, where the nerve and blood vessels are located. This is especially important if there is facial swelling or lymph node swelling, which can be a sign of a dental abscess, a pocket of pus that can be caused by an infected tooth.

It’s possible to treat an abscess at home, but it’s best to see a dentist for treatment as soon as possible to prevent further damage and complications. A dentist can prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection, and recommend treatments such as:

  • Draining the abscess
  • Performing root canal therapy if necessary.

If you experience fever or chills

If you experience fever or chills in addition to a toothache, it is best to contact your dentist right away as this can be an indication of a more serious dental issue. This is especially true if the fever and chills last for over 24 hours. A prolonged fever or chills could indicate an infection that requires immediate attention from your dentist.

Your dentist can prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection, or even refer you to a specialist who can surgically remove the infection before it progresses further into your jawbone. Make sure to follow any instructions given by your dentist regarding scheduling a follow up appointment and caring for your mouth during recovery.

FAQs about: Treating Toothache At Home

Q: What are the best home remedies for a toothache?

A: The best home remedies for a toothache include gargling with salt water, using clove oil, avoiding acidic foods, and using a cold compress.

Q: How can I reduce the pain of a toothache?

A: To reduce the pain of a toothache, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers, use a cold compress, rinse your mouth with warm salt water, and avoid acidic foods.

Q: What should I do if my toothache is severe?

A: If your toothache is severe, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible to get a professional diagnosis and treatment.

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