A young man is holding an ice pack to his cheek

4 Homemade Toothache Remedies

Have you ever lost sleep, had a headache, or had difficulty concentrating because of a toothache? You’re not alone. Aches and pains in your teeth can be surprisingly painful and challenging to treat. We’ve got you covered with some homemade remedies to provide temporary relief until you can get to a dentist for treatment.

1. Cold Compresses

It’s not uncommon for your mouth or face to swell up from pain after an injury, procedure, or dental problems.

This remedy is straightforward but very effective: hold a cold compress up against your cheek, and you can find relief in no time. The University of Michigan in the United States recommends doing 10 minutes with the cold once an hour, but feel free to use it for shorter if it’s too cold.

Not only does cold help swelling and sensitivity, but it can also temporarily reduce pain.

Helpful tip: If you don’t have a cold compress handy, you can make one at home.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Put ice in a sealable, watertight bag
  2. Fill the bag with water and squeeze the air out of it
  3. Wrap it in a cloth and apply to the affected area.

Is no ice available? Freeze water in a bag, use frozen veggies or try putting a damp towel into the freezer.

2. Clove Oil

A natural pain-reliever, clove oil can be useful to keep around to temporarily help soothe pain or swelling from a toothache. This natural oil works well because it contains eugenol, also found in cinnamon in smaller amounts.

Here’s an easy method to apply clove oil to a toothache:

  1. Apply a few drops of clove oil to a cotton ball or swab
  2. Place the cotton ball or swab on the sensitive area of your tooth or gums.

Note that clove oil isn’t a flavour that everyone enjoys, so you might want to sample a drop before using too much!

3. Salt-water Rinses

One of the simplest but still useful tips we recommend is to use a salt-water rinse to provide temporary pain relief:

  1. Use warm water so the salt will dissolve better, but avoid overly hot water, so you don’t further aggravate any sensitive or hurting areas.
  2. Pour a few teaspoons of salt into a cup of warm water
  3. Rinse with the mixture, and spit.

4. Tooth Pain Medications

Although this is not a homemade remedy, you’re likely to have some over-the-counter medications readily available. Most people keep medicines in their cabinet, or a first-aid kit, which could provide temporary relief for pain or sensitivity resulting from a toothache.

When taking medications, it’s essential to follow the dosing and application instructions provided on the package leaflet.

What Are Ways to Prevent Toothaches?

There are many causes of toothaches, so it can be hard to narrow down the source without going to a dentist. According to the United States Cleveland Clinic, cavities, abscesses, fractures, damaged fillings, and infections are among the most common causes.

To help prevent many of the most common causes, we recommended that you:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily and floss your teeth once a day
  • Visit your dentist for regular check-ups
  • Get treatment, like fillings for cavities, as soon as possible.

When Should You See a Dentist?

Keep in mind that, while these remedies can work magic for pain and sensitivity, they don’t treat the root cause of your symptoms. If you believe you’ve broken a tooth, have a cavity, infection, or other dental problem, be sure to contact a dentist. If you’re experiencing fever, facial swelling, or constant pain and don’t have access to a dentist, visit an emergency room for treatment.

It can be stressful to see a dentist, but they’re masters at treating your toothaches and pain. They’re doctors, and they’ve got your back for your dental health.

Don’t be afraid to try these remedies at home to provide the maximum amount of relief.

Cold compresses, clove oil, salt-water rinses, and over-the-counter medication can all work together to help fight pain and sensitivity from your toothache.



The above information is provided for informational purposes only. Colgate does not accept any liability should the above recommendations have an outcome contrary to the intended result. Always seek the advice of a qualified doctor or dental professional. Do not disregard professional advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read in this article.


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