Last Updated on May 9, 2023 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS
Toothache is one of the most common ailments that afflict people; sometimes it happens at night. The pain can become incapacitating and quite uncomfortable, Some people indicate that it does not allow them to sleep, eat, or carry out normal activities. It is usually sudden, that is, it can appear at any time and without prior warning, and it may be very intense so having toothache treatments to relieve pain at home is very important.
Some of the most common causes of toothache are:
- A blow or injury to the jaw
- The eruption of wisdom teeth
- Dental fracture
- Food between the teeth
- Treatments, such as a filling, may cause temporary sensitivity.
Toothache treatments to relieve pain at home
Regardless of the cause of the pain, it should be managed. Notify your dentist; however, while being treated, you might rely on home remedies to feel better. Here are some options:
1. Rinse with brine
Salt water is known for its disinfectant and healing properties. Rinsing your mouth and gargling with salt water is a good tip to use at home to get rid of toothache instantly. Also, it can help loosen food particles and debris that might be stuck between your teeth.
How to prepare a supersaturated salt rinse:
- Start with a glass of warm water. Do not use boiling water.
- Mix in a tablespoon of salt – Himalayan pink or sea salt.
- Keep adding the salt until it dissolves.
- Shake the solution for 30-60 seconds.
- Repeat 4-5 times a day.
In a 2016 study, it was found that peroxide helps reduce plaque and the symptoms of periodontitis that cause problems such as pain, bleeding gums, and teeth that become loose in their sockets.
It is necessary to dilute hydrogen peroxide with equal parts of water. Swish the solution around in your mouth, but do not swallow it. This remedy is not suitable for children, as there is the risk that they might accidentally swallow the mixture.
3. OTC oral pain relievers
Taking pain relievers for toothache relief is a quick and easy solution that while temporary, helps reduce inflammation and pain effectively. However, always follow the instructions on the package so as not to exceed the recommended dose per day, as this could be a risk factor.
Some of the best include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin, but they should be used with caution in anticoagulated patients.
Benzocaine is a topical anesthetic that can quickly relieve toothaches. The effects completely wear off after 2 hours, so you may need to reapply during the day.
Common brands of benzocaine products include:
For most children and adults, benzocaine has no side effects. However, do not use this medication for more than 1 or 2 days in a row without consulting a dentist.
In children under 2 years of age, benzocaine should not be used since it may put the child’s health at risk. The FDA advises that none of these products should be used during teething or until after the age of 2.
5. Apply cold to the affected area
This remedy is widely used as it is effective in mitigating pain and reducing inflammation. The cold works like a homemade anesthetic. By applying cold to the affected area, the blood vessels contract, you will feel relief, and the toothache will be more bearable.
This remedy is classic since the antibacterial effect helps kill bacteria in the mouth. The effect is thanks to allicin, its main compound, which helps relieve pain.
Crush a clove of garlic into a paste and apply it to the area where you are experiencing pain. You can also add a little salt to the pasta. If you prefer, another option is to slowly chew the garlic clove. This method should help relieve pain; however, the taste of raw garlic may be too strong for some people, so it’s not the best solution for everyone.
7. Peppermint tea bags or black tea
Studies have shown that peppermint tea has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help numb painful areas. You can use peppermint tea bags for pain and to soothe sensitive gums.
On the other hand, if you have black tea bags, the tannic acid it contains will act as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.
To do this, let a used tea bag cool before applying it to the affected area, but should still be slightly warm. Alternatively, you can also chill it in the fridge and then press the bag against the sore tooth.
Clove is an essential oil that can provide pain relief – even as strong as benzocaine. Eugenol, one of the main compounds in cloves, can reduce dental pain by acting as a pain reliever
Clove oil also has antibacterial properties, meaning it can kill beneficial bacteria in the mouth and may cause an imbalance in the oral microbiome. For this reason, I do not recommend using this remedy for more than a couple of days. To use cloves for toothaches, soak ground cloves in water to make a paste. Then apply the paste to the tooth or put it in an empty tea bag and place it in your mouth.
Another way to use clove oil to treat a toothache is to apply a very small amount to a cotton ball or swab and apply it gently on the affected area. The specific placement of clove oil is crucial for success; It will only work if you get the oil close to the pulp tissue (the inner substance of the tooth).
9. Guava Leaves
Guava leaves are well known for their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which help in toothache relief and oral care in case of an infection. To use it, chew fresh guava leaves or add crushed guava leaves to boiling water to make a mouthwash.
Thyme is another way how to stop tooth pain fast at home. Thyme has powerful antibacterial and antioxidant properties that help treat toothaches. To use it, bring a cup of water to a boil and add the fresh herb. Let it boil for 2 or 3 minutes and then let it cool. Gargle with this infusion. You may apply a few drops of thyme essential oil and a few drops of water to a cotton ball. After diluting the oil with the water, apply it to the affected area.
You can also add a drop of the oil to a small glass of water to make a mouthwash.
11. Vanilla Extract
This extract contains alcohol, which may help numb a toothache. Its proven antioxidant properties also make it an effective cure. Apply a few drops of vanilla extract to a cotton swab or cotton ball. Place it on the area that hurts several times a day.
Heat application helps interrupt the pain signal from the mouth to the brain, thereby reducing discomfort when applied to one side of the jaw.
If you don’t have a hot pack, you can make one by filling a clean sock with rice and tying one end. Then, put the rice-stuffed sock in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
All of the above methods can help relieve toothache temporarily, but in some cases, use is not recommended for more than two days. As soon as you can visit the dentist, he/she will perform an inspection to identify the cause of the pain and thus be able to treat it properly.
In case the pain is very intense and acute, or if there is any damage to the bone structure or the pulp of the tooth is exposed, it is a dental emergency or in more serious cases a medical emergency, requiring a visit to a hospital or clinic. ou present the following symptoms:
- Problems breathing or swallowing
- General pain that lasts more than a day or two
- Pain when chewing
- Abnormally red gums
- Discharge of bad taste or pus
If you have any questions about this or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Island Family Dental as well as our Facebook page. We look forward to your visit and we will make a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in Oxnard, Saint Paula, Venture, Newbury Park, and Port Hueneme will be able to guide you towards the best treatment to take care of your health and give you back your best smile
- Mark Burhenne. 11 Home Toothache Remedies: Evidence-Based Relief That Works (Internet). Ask the Dentist. Updated: October 26, 2021 (consulted on August 25, 2022). Available in: https://askthedentist.com/toothache-remedies/
- Brunilda Nazario, MD. Toothache Home Remedies (Internet). WebMD, LLC. Updated: July 31, 2020 (consulted on August 25, 2022). Available in: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/home-remedies-toothache
- Emily Cronkleton, Christine Frank. 11 Home and Natural Remedies for Toothache Pain (Internet). Healthline. Updated on July 11, 2022 (consulted on August 25, 2022). Available in: https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/home-remedies-for-toothache
- Soccy Ponsford, Christine Frank. How to treat a toothache at home (internet). Medical News Today. Updated on December 14, 2017 (consulted on August 25, 2022). Available in: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320315