Best Home Remedies for Toothache

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If you are looking for the best home remedies for toothache pain, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we are going to discuss the best temporary pain relief options available if your teeth are giving you trouble. Keep in mind, only your dentist will be able to take care of the underlying issue causing the tooth pain, but there are, fortunately, plenty of things you can try at home to start alleviating the pain immediately. 

Without further ado, here are the best, most effective home remedies for tooth pain

How to eliminate toothache pain in minutes

Anyone who has ever experienced dental pain, whether a painful tooth or inflamed, infected or swollen gums, knows just how distressing and debilitating a severe toothache can be. If the pain is intense and your dental appoint is still hours or even days away, it can be quite maddening.

Fortunately, there are numerous home remedies that can provide quick and effective, if fleeting, toothache relief. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover that you already have most of the following at-home remedies in your kitchen or bathroom, ready to deploy. And in case you don’t, the vast majority of them are easily available from every reasonably stocked drug store or pharmacy.

Clove oil

Various essential oils possess natural numbing properties, and in this regard clove oil is one of the best.

Apply clove oil to a cotton swab and gently dab it onto the affected tooth for instant and effective if rather short-lived relief. Try to avoid getting clove oil on your tongue or any other tissues in your mouth, since numbing them is unnecessary and can feel a bit unpleasant.

Thyme essential oil

Another great essential oil that is guaranteed to compliment the clove oil mentioned above is thyme essential oil.

Thyme possesses both antibacterial and antioxidant activities, which is great for disinfecting oral wounds or infected teeth. As with clove, apply a few drops of the oil to a cotton swab and gently apply it to the affected tooth.

Peppermint tea bags

Peppermint is another natural aesthetic and is especially useful for treating inflamed, irritated or infected gums and other oral tissues. 

We recommend brewing yourself a cup of peppermint tea, then taking the used tea bag and gently holding it against the affected area for a bit of instant relief. You can also sip the tea slowly (making sure that it is not too hot, or it will cause you more pain!).

Salt water rinse

A salt water solution provides a great way for you to stay on top of your oral care and reduce harmful bacteria when you are dealing with tooth pain. Whatever the underlying cause for the pain, keeping the affected area clean is paramount if you want to avoid the situation and the pain from getting any worse.

Salt water is easy to prepare at home – all you need is a tea spoon full of salt and a glass of warm (but not hot!) water. Stir the salt into the water and let it dissolve. Then, take a large sip and swish the solution around in your mouth for as long as you can stand it. Aim for at least 30 seconds. Do not swallow the solution, but spit it out after you are done with it.

Salt water is effective at removing bacteria, puss and plaque, so rinse your mouth with salt water often when you are dealing with dental pain, whether it stems from tooth decay, inflamed gums or something else.

Hydrogen peroxide rinse

Another effective mouth rinse to try at home is a hydrogen peroxide rinse. While salt water only cleans, hydrogen peroxide provides both healing effects and pain relief. 

Mix equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide, and rinse your mouth with the solution for at least 30 seconds. It is important not to swallow hydrogen peroxide, as this is dangerous for your health. To stay on the safe side, never make a stronger solution than 1:1 water and peroxide.

Bourbon-soaked cotton balls

Yes, bourbon whiskey has a medical use! In fact, any alcohol is effective at providing pain relief to affected tooth. 

Simply soak a cotton ball in the alcohol and apply it gently to the affected area to alleviate your oral discomfort. Of course, this particular pain relief treatment should not be given to children or anyone under the legal drinking age.


Garlic has long been used as an at-home pain medication, and is especially helpful at dealing with nerve pain, as well as dental pain. 

Garlic possesses antibiotic qualities and can help make swelling and inflammation go down. Try mashing a clove of garlic, adding a pinch of salt to the paste and apply it to the painful tooth or inflamed gums. Keep in mind, if the pain you are experiencing is located in your jaw bone or joints, garlic is not going to be effective at all.

Vanilla extract

Pure vanilla extract can provide temporary pain relief. Add a small amount to your (clean) finger and carefully rub it into the painful area. Use vanilla extract a couple of times a day and combine with other home remedies for the best possible results. 


Onions are a real super hero when it comes to dealing with oral health issues in the short term. Onions have antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, which means that onions are effective at killing bacteria as well as providing temporary pain relief. 

What’s more, most of us won’t have to forage any further than our own kitchens to find an onion to slice, dice and apply to painful teeth or gums. 

Guava leaves

Much like onions, guava leaves possess many wonderful qualities that can help not only provide temporary pain relief when you are dealing with toothache, but also prevent bacteria and potential infection from developing.

Guava leaves are both anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and analgesic, and the best way to make use of them is to prepare a mouthwash. Simply boil the leaves, add a pinch of salt, et voila! 


Wheatgrass provides pain relief and the hlorophyll in it prevents bacteria and further tooth decay from developing.

Wheatgrass can either be chewed or made into a juice that can be sipped or used as a mouthwash. 

Cold compress

A cold compress can be as simple as a frozen bag of peas, and is one of the most effective ways of providing immediate pain relief whether to a strained muscle or a throbbing tooth.

Keeping your head elevated

By all means, and to the extend possible, keep your head elevated to prevent too much blood from flowing to the affected tooth. 

There is a reason why toothache seems to intensify at night: It is because you are lying down, and more blood is flowing to the affected area. Of course, you cannot sleep standing up, even when you have a really bad toothache, so prop yourself up on a large pile of pillows instead.

Over-the-counter medications

As well as deploying all of the natural remedies we have discussed in this article, it is also a great idea to take over-the-counter medications to reduce inflammation and pain. We do not recommend taking OTC medications instead of natural remedies, but in addition to them.

Avoiding trigger foods

While your toothache is raging, there are certain types of foods you should avoid. 

Anything hot or spicy is a no-go, as are hard foods such as nuts, apples and raw carrots. Anything chewy should also be avoided, as it could trigger your tooth pain and cause it to flare up. Bread products should also be avoided if you have any oral wounds, as tiny crumbs can easily get stuck in the wound.

Why you should still see your dentist after alleviating the pain

Even if you seem to have successfully relieved your dental pain, it is still paramount that you get yourself to your dentist’s office as soon as possible. 

But why, you may ask. Here are the two simple reasons.

There is no cure for tooth decay

While it is possible to treat a painful tooth at home using an at-home pain reliever, only a dentist is able to address the underlying issue, which could be anything from an abscessed tooth to gum disease. 

It is vitally important to get the reason for the pain checked out and treated by a dental professional, sooner rather than later. If you do not, the issue is only going to get worse and the pain is bound to return. Not to mention, untreated dental decay or gum disease can lead to more severe oral and general health conditions.

Home remedies for toothache only provide temporary relief

As effective as the home remedies mentioned in this article are at reducing inflammation and temporary numbing dental pain, none of them provide anything more than temporary relief. 

The only thing that can ensure a permanent fix is to book an appointment with a dentist immediately, or at any rate, as soon as possible. Your dental professional will be able to properly assess and treat the affected area, so that the pain is eliminated rather than temporary covered up.

Home remedies for tooth pain FAQ

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

There isn’t quite a one-size-fits-all answer to this, as the nature and location ion your dental pain can influence which remedy is going to be the most effective. We recommend combining a number of different home remedies in order to attack the pain from as many ankles as possible.

A cold compress is usually very effective at providing more or less instant relief. Combine that with anti-inflammatory over-the-counter pain medication and clove oil, and you should start feeling better right away. Keep your head elevated and avoid eating anything hard or chewy that might set off the pain signals again.

How do you get rid of a toothache fast?

The only way to truly get rid of a toothache is with the help of oral health professionals. Toothache cannot be eliminated at home, only temporarily dealt with until you can get yourself to a dentist’s office.

With that being said, some of the most effective ways of reducing dental pain fast include holding a hot or cold pack against the affected area, taking over the counter medication, and placing a soaked peppermint tea bag or a clove or bourbon-soaked cotton ball on the painful tooth while keeping your head elevated to stop too much blood from flowing to your head and your aching tooth.

How do you get rid of a toothache in 5 minutes?

Combining as many complimentary home remedies as possible is the best way to temporarily reduce inflammation and relieve dental pain in a matter of minutes.

We recommend combing over-the-counter pain medication with a natural disinfectant and natural anesthetic, such as clove oil, thyme essential oil, garlic or guava leaves, as well as a salt water or hydrogen peroxide rinse.

How do you stop nerve pain in your tooth?

Nerve pain can be one of the most intense and therefore worst forms of toothache. To relieve the dental nerve pain you are experiencing as quickly as possible, try this?

Start by rinsing your mouth with warm (but not hot!) salt water. Gently floss to remove any potential plaque build-up or bits of food that may be stuck between your teeth. Take over the counter pain medication, gently apply or hold any of the following to the affected area – a wet peppermint tea bag, a bourbon-soaked cotton ball, a few drops of clove essential oil – and apply an ice pack or other form of cold press to your jaw. You should start to feel relief right away.


Dental pain is a horrible experience for anyone to go through, and it is not always possible to get an appointment with a dentist right away. 

Fortunately, there are numerous different home remedies that, especially when combined, can help relieve the pain and reduce swelling in the meantime. 

If you are experiencing gum or dental pain, it is tempting to avoid the affected area completely, but it is important to stay on top of your oral hygiene to stop the issue and the pain from getting worse. We recommend gently brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, rinsing your mouth with a warm water and salt solution, applying something with numbing properties (Here, there are plenty of options, from clove essential oil, bourbon, garlic, peppermint tea bags and more) to the tooth and take over-the-counter pain medication. When you combine a number of home remedies with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory medicinal properties, you should start to feel some relief almost immediately. 

Want to learn even more about tooth pain, what causes it and how to relieve it before you can be seen my a dentist? Read our article about the fastest route to toothache relief.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.