What to Do If Nothing Is Helping a Toothache

Medically Reviewed on 1/10/2022

16 tips to manage your toothache at home

nothing is helping my tooth pain
Here are 16 tips for managing a toothache at home, as well as when to seek help from your dentist.

Here are 16 tips for managing a toothache at home:

  1. Ice packs: Ice packs help reduce pain and inflammation.
    • You may use ice packs or some ice wrapped in a soft cloth or towel and apply it on the side of the face where the tooth hurts.
    • Apply the ice pack for no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
    • You may do it four to five times a day.
  2. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications: Use OTC analgesic pills such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen), and Aleve or Naprosyn (naproxen). 
  3. Numbing gels: OTC oral gels containing benzocaine may be used by adults to relieve pain.
    • Teething gels must not be used in children younger than two years of age.
    • In children older than two years, numbing gels must be used only after getting a nod from the doctor.
  4. Clove oil: Cloves contain an anti-inflammatory substance called eugenol.
    • A tiny cotton ball may be soaked in clove oil and applied over the affected tooth and gums.
    • You may also chew a clove or make its paste and then apply it to the affected site.
  5. Garlic: Garlic has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
    • You may apply freshly made garlic paste or chew a piece of garlic to help manage your symptoms.
  6. Teabags: Keep a used teabag in your refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes or in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
    • Apply this cold tea bag on the affected tooth to get relief from pain. 
  7. Head elevation: Keeping your head slightly elevated may help reduce swelling and pain.
    • You may try keeping a pillow under your head while sleeping or lying down.
  8. Saline rinse: Salt-water or saline helps fight infection, maintain oral hygiene, and reduce swelling.
    • Add a teaspoon of salt in lukewarm water and swish it around your mouth. 
    • Spit it out after rinsing your mouth to avoid excess salt entering your body.
  9. Guava leaves: Guava leaves contain several anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
    • You may wash guava leaves and use them as herbal tea or make a paste to apply at the affected site.
  10. Thyme oil: Thyme oil may also help relieve pain and swelling.
    • Add one to two drops of thyme oil to a cup of water.
    • You may use it as a rinse or soak a cotton ball and apply it over the affected tooth.
  11. Wheatgrass juice: Wheatgrass is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds.
    • You may sip a bit of wheatgrass juice and swish it in your mouth to get symptomatic relief.
  12. Peppermint tea: Peppermint tea may help reduce pain and swelling.
    • Peppermint tea contains anti-inflammatory substances including menthol that help provide relief from oral conditions. 
  13. Hydrogen peroxide rinse: Hydrogen peroxide helps fight infections and inflammation.
    • Mix equal amounts of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution with water in a cup.
    • Use it for rinsing your mouth two to three times a day.
    • Do not swallow. Make sure the solution is diluted enough.
  14. Wheatgrass tea: Wheatgrass tea is another rich source of anti-inflammatory compounds.
    • Sipping wheatgrass tea may help relieve your toothache.
  15. Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract may help numb the pain sensation.
    • Add a little vanilla extract on a cotton ball and apply it over the affected tooth two to three times a day. 
  16. Maintain good oral hygiene: Good oral hygiene is essential for managing and preventing oral health issues.
    • Use good toothpaste and toothbrush to brush your teeth at least two times a day and use interdental floss once a day.
    • Do not skip your routine visit to the dentist.

When Should You See Your Dentist for a Toothache?

A toothache is often a nasty problem. Persistent toothaches can interfere with work, sleep, and even eating and drinking. If your toothache is not going away despite home management or if it is getting worse, you must contact your dentist. 

Contact your dentist immediately if you notice any of these signs:

  • Pain while opening the mouth
  • Fever
  • Swelling over the face
  • Severe or unbearable pain
  • Toothache not getting better within a day or two
  • Pain in the ear
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Blood or pus discharge from the gums
  • Foul breath
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Trouble swallowing

Tooth or jaw pain may be a symptom of other unrelated conditions. For example, a heart attack may cause referred pain in the jaw. Hence, it is advisable to seek a doctor’s consultation.

Although several remedies may help relieve toothache, it is advisable to consult a dentist to know the cause, especially if it keeps coming or gets worse.

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Medically Reviewed on 1/10/2022
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