A toothache isn’t just a pain. It can actually take you out of the game, causing you to miss out on the things you love (or need) to do. But you don’t have to miss work or avoid activities you enjoy because of tooth pain.
While toothaches can happen for many different reasons, including tooth decay, gum infections, fractures, abscesses, jaw dysfunction, and teeth grinding, there are many ways to ease the pain these dental problems can cause.
While proper dental care is vital to maintaining a healthy mouth, you cannot always get into the dentist’s chair when you need to. If you cannot get an appointment right away, stop the pain of a toothache naturally with these 10 DIY remedies:
1. Essential Oil.
Plant essences, also known as essential oils, are well known to offer natural analgesic effects when applied to an aching tooth or gums. Studies have confirmed that clove oil was comparative to benzocaine as a topical analgesic agent before needle insertion.1
Additionally, the essential oils of lemon, eucalyptus, and anise may help to reduce your toothache when applied topically.2
To use essential oils for tooth pain, apply 2-5 drops of the oil of your choice to a cotton swab, and press the cotton into the area until the analgesic effects take hold, numbing the area.
2. Garlic Cloves.
This is a tried-and-true method for scaring off vampires, and it’s good for getting rid of painful toothaches, too! Used for centuries for it’s powerful antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, garlic cloves may also help to reduce common infections of the teeth and gums that cause a toothache.3
To use garlic for pain, place a large, peeled clove on the affected area, and crush the clove to release the juices into your teeth and gums.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide.
The foaming bubbles of hydrogen peroxide make a magnificent mouthwash. And, as the bubbles reach deep below the gumline to kill off bacteria, hydrogen peroxide may also help to reduce any pain associated with a common tooth infection. It is recommended that you use a low potency 3-9 percent solution.4 To use a hydrogen peroxide solution as a mouth rinse, simply take a small amount into your mouth and swish it around for temporary relief of your toothache. Don’t swallow; simply spit the peroxide solution out after a minute or two.
The cooling effects of ice may help to numb your pain, offering temporary relief from your toothache.
In one study, the majority of participants who received an ice massage reported a significant reduction in the intensity of their dental pain – by 50 percent or more.4,5
To perform an ice massage on your tooth, take a small piece of ice in your hand, and rub it into the space where it hurts. If the area is too sensitive, massage the jaw or upper area where the pain is located through the face. This natural remedy for pain usually relieves toothache in 5-7 minutes.
5. Sea Salt.
A saltwater mouth rinse is a well-known remedy for pain used for centuries to relieve toothache, sore throat and more. Today, you can make one at home to ease your toothache before and after a visit to your dentist. Due to the high content of minerals, sea salt or Epsom salts make the best type of salt to disinfect the mouth and promote healing.
To make a saltwater rinse, add ½ teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm water. Then, swish your mouth thoroughly with the mixture for at least 30 seconds. Spit it out, and repeat for up to 3 minutes.
Remedy your toothache with this super-cool solution. Cucumbers are known for their ability to soothe irritated, inflamed tissues, and they may help to lessen your tooth pain when applied topically. That’s because cucumbers help to reduce blood flow in the small capillaries of your gums, which may ultimately lessen the pain, while also soothing the irritated tissues.
To use cucumbers for a toothache, simply slice a cold cucumber (out of the refrigerator) and place a piece on the affected area, holding it there if necessary. Alternatively, you may choose to mash, or juice the cucumber and swish the pulp in your mouth until the pain goes away.
This grass offers powerful antibacterial properties to fight off tooth decay. It also helps to relieve toothache, and protects the teeth and gums from common infections.6
To use wheatgrass as a pain reliever for your teeth, you can chew the grass at the affected area, or juice it and use it as a mouth rinse to keep bacterial growth under wraps until you can get to the dentist.
This root herb is a wonder spice! Used for centuries in India for its strong antiseptic, antibacterial, and analgesic properties, turmeric root can be purchased in a powder form for easy application to damaged teeth and gums. Known to stop toothaches in their tracks, turmeric root is also a natural anti-inflammatory agent, which may help to reduce pain of tooth and gum infections as well as excruciating abscesses.7
To use turmeric for toothache, add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to 1 cup of warm water. Apply the paste to your mouth at the affected area. If the taste is overpowering, you may choose to add a drop of honey into the mixture (also a powerful antibacterial agent) to ease the potency of turmeric’s flavor.
Raw potatoes are an ancient folk remedy for toothaches. Able to offer a cooling effect and relieve inflammation, cold, raw potato slices can also help to absorb excess moisture. This may help to reduce bacterial growth, which often exacerbates toothaches.
To use raw potatoes for tooth pain relief, peel a cold potato and then slice it into small sections. Apply a section directly to the affected teeth and gums. Or, alternatively, you can grate it and make a paste.
10. Baking Soda.
You can get a box of baking soda at any local grocery store, for about one dollar. Used in many toothpastes for its ability to eliminate bacteria and strengthen tooth enamel, baking soda can be made into a pain-relieving paste very easily.8,9
To use baking soda on your teeth, mix a small amount of the powder with water in a medium-sized bowl until you make a paste with a thick consistency. Then apply it to the affected area, and let it set for 3-5 minutes. You may also choose to brush your teeth with this mixture until you can see a dentist.
There are few things in life worse than tooth pain. If you’ve made a dental appointment, but still have days to wait in agony, try some of these at-home remedies. They may not relieve the pain completely, but they might take the edge off just enough to allow you to get some sleep and get through work the next day. Hang in there!
For more articles about health and wellness, keep reading:
1. Alqareer A, Alyahya A. The effect of clove and benzocaine versus placebo as topical anesthetics. J Dent. 2006 Nov;34(10):747-50. Epub 2006 Mar 13.
2. José Ferreira Sarmento-Neto, Lázaro Gomes do Nascimento. Analgesic Potential of Essential Oils. Molecules 2016, 21(1), 20.
3. Sunaina Shetty, Biju Thomas. An in-vitro evaluation of the efficacy of garlic extract as an antimicrobial agent on periodontal pathogens: A microbiological study. Ayu. 2013 Oct-Dec; 34(4): 445–451.
4. Hydrogen peroxide. Compound Summary for CID 784.
5. R. Melzack, S. Guité. Relief of dental pain by ice massage of the hand. Can Med Assoc J. 1980 Jan 26; 122(2): 189–191.
6. Athul Sundaresan, Arul Selvi H.K.
The Anti-Microbial Properties of Triticum aestivum (Wheat Grass) Extract. No 3 (2015). Sundaresan.
7. Monika Nagpal, Shaveta Sood. Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2013 Jan-Jun; 4(1): 3–7.
8. Ghassemi A, Vorwerk LM. A four-week clinical study to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of a baking soda dentifrice and an antimicrobial dentifrice in reducing plaque. J Clin Dent. 2008;19(4):120-6.
9. Messias DC, Turssi CP. Sodium bicarbonate solution as an anti-erosive agent against simulated endogenous erosion. Eur J Oral Sci. 2010 Aug;118(4):385-8.