16 Home Remedies for Toothache

Medically Reviewed on 4/4/2022

What is the fastest way to stop a toothache at home?

Saltwater gargle
Saltwater gargle can reduce swelling, heal infections, and loosen food particles in your teeth.

Toothache generally manifests as a sharp or shooting pain, which may be so severe that it doesn’t allow an individual to eat, sleep, or rest comfortably. Below are a few common home remedies for a toothache:

  1. Ice pack: This is the easiest of the techniques to alleviate toothache. The ice may numb out the area and usually make an individual comfortable when kept near the affected tooth.
  2. Saltwater gargle: Heat a cup of water and dissolve a spoon of salt in it. Swish the lukewarm liquid in the mouth a couple of times. Repeat if necessary. It is a natural disinfectant. It may heal swelling, clean infections, as well as loosen food particles in your teeth
  3. Hydrogen peroxide rinse: Like the salt water rinse, hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria and helps reduce swelling and pain. This remedy is best used to heal bleeding gums or toothache caused by an infection. To use this remedy, mix in equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and water, and swish the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds, and then spit it out.
  4. Cloves: They are an age-old solution to toothache. A few drops of clove oil can be extracted and rubbed into the affected area. Clove oil contains eugenol, which is a natural antiseptic.
  5. Teabags: The tannins in teabags may bring some much-needed relief from toothache. Hold a wet, slightly warm tea bag against the affected tooth for a few minutes until the pain subsides. Teabags like peppermint tea contain menthol, which has numbing properties that can be used to cool and numb pain.
  6. Oils: Oils, such as tea tree, thyme, and peppermint, may help in reducing pain and numbness. Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antibiotic properties to keep infection at bay. Peppermint oil can also be used on its own to help alleviate toothache. Thyme oil is believed to have antibacterial as well as antioxidant properties, which may relieve toothache. Use a cotton bud to apply a few drops to the painful area and leave it there for a short while to allow the oil to act.
  7. Asafetida: Asafetida with lemon juice or oil is one of the common remedies. Mix asafetida spice with half a teaspoon of warm lemon juice or lemon oil and apply to the affected tooth every 20 minutes for 1 hour until the pain subsides.
  8. Garlic: Garlic has a lot of medicinal benefits and is being used for a few centuries. When crushed, garlic releases allicin, a natural antibacterial agent, which can kill harmful, plaque-causing bacteria and provide pain relief. Chew on a piece of raw garlic or apply crushed, raw garlic to the affected area to relieve pain and swelling.
  9. Fresh ginger: Wash and peel an inch of fresh ginger and start chewing it slowly around the affected area, allowing the ginger to ooze its juices. Keeping it for an hour or two may help in reducing pain and swelling.
  10. Onions: They are known to be highly effective against toothaches. Just cut a slice of onion and place it between the teeth and chew gently. The antimicrobial properties in the onion will get to work immediately. It also helps in reducing swelling around the tooth.
  11. Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract contains alcohol, which helps kill germs and numb the area around the affected tooth. Apply vanilla extract onto a cotton ball and hold it against the pained area for a short period for temporary pain relief.
  12. Turmeric: Turmeric is known for its healing properties. It is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Make a paste of turmeric powder with some water and apply it to the affected area. It can also be mixed with some honey instead of water and applied to the aching tooth.
  13. Lemon: Lemon is rich in Vitamin C, which is great for the teeth. Simply cut a wedge of lime and place it between your teeth near the problem area. Suck the juice out well. Replace with a new wedge if necessary.
  14. Propolis: Propolis capsules help ward off colds, and they can also be used to help reduce tooth pain. Undo a capsule to release the powder and mix it into some warm water and use it as a mouthwash. Propolis is known as an antibacterial and it can also be useful for treating any gum problems that might be contributing to toothache.
  15. Guava leaf: They have antimicrobial properties that reduce swelling and pain. Fresh guava leaves may be washed and can be chewed directly or can be used as a mouthwash.
  16. Wheatgrass: Wheatgrass juice when used as a mouthwash may reduce swelling and infection. Wheatgrass is believed to have numerous other properties that make it a part of the natural remedies for tooth pain.

More than all this, maintain good dental hygiene by brushing twice a day, rinsing the mouth after consuming anything, and regular flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash. In case you have sensitive teeth, try switching to toothpaste made for sensitivity. If home remedies do not help or if the pain gets worse, visit a dentist for proper management.

What is the best painkiller for a toothache?

Pain management is generally required while treating a toothache at home. Here are a few methods for relieving tooth or gum discomfort:

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication

Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen, and aspirin are the most effective pain relievers for mild to moderate toothaches. Use the medication as per label instructions or as suggested by your healthcare provider.

Numbing mouthwash or toothpaste can help reduce toothache. There are also gels and liquids that you can apply to the affected area.

In moderate cases, people may need to take a combination of OTC medications. Avoid giving products that contain aspirin or  benzocaine to children and teens without consulting a doctor.

Keep your head elevated

Toothache is often worse at night due to the pooling of blood in your skull when you lie down. When blood gets collected in the skull, you may experience acute pain that keeps you awake. This can be avoided by keeping your head higher than your body.

What is the dental treatment for a toothache?

Toothache and gum pain can produce agonizing pain. Although OTC pain relievers can help with minor toothache, they may have little or no effect on moderate to severe tooth discomfort. In many cases, the only effective type of pain alleviation is to treat the underlying source of the pain. 

Depending on the reason for your tooth pain, there are a number of dental procedures that can help. Consult your dentist about which procedure is needed for your condition.


Fillings are the most common dental procedure for tooth discomfort caused by a cavity. Your dentist numbs the region, removes decaying material, and replaces it with a filling.

Root canal treatment (endodontic treatment)

If dental nerve pain is caused by a badly infected or decaying tooth, root canal treatment is performed.

Root canal treatment involves removing the inflamed pulp (which contains the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue) from inside the tooth, then cleaning and closing the area. The nerves inside teeth are not required for optimal tooth function.


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When to see a dentist for a toothache

In some situations, over-the-counter pain relievers may not be sufficient, such as in the case of severe dental pain caused by a broken tooth (especially if the tooth nerve is exposed). Similarly, tooth abscess pain can be too strong for standard pain relievers to be effective.

If pain medicines don't relieve your toothache or if the pain keeps coming back, it's time to see a dentist. If you have an infection or a tooth abscess, your dentist can prescribe considerably stronger pain medications and antibiotics. 

An untreated infection that produces pain can be serious in and of itself. If the pain is excruciating, it may be considered a dental emergency. Seeing an emergency dentist for immediate toothache relief or to stop gum pain is critical. 

Regardless of the situation, keep up with your dental cleaning and checkups to maintain good oral health. Proper oral hygiene can dramatically minimize the likelihood of infections.

Medically Reviewed on 4/4/2022
WebMD. Toothache Home Remedies. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/home-remedies-toothache#1

First Impressions Dental. Top 10 Natural Remedies for Tooth Pain. August 23, 2017. https://www.altonedental.com.au/top-10-natural-remedies-for-tooth-pain/

Toothache: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10957-toothache

Best Drugs for Dental Pain: https://www.consumerreports.org/dental-oral-care/best-drugs-for-dental-pain-a1630331450/

Diagnosis and treatment of abnormal dental pain: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5564113/