Home remedies for toothache that really work

Before we look at home remedies to toothaches, I must say that: regular oral care, such as a regular visit to the dentist twice a year, brushing and flossing frequently can prevent several dental problems like lingering toothaches or gum swelling that can lead to larger issues like loss of teeth, heart disease if left untreated.

Unfortunately, the American Dental Association (ADA) estimates that over 100 million Americans don’t go to the dentist every year. This is concerning and explains the worrying cases of toothaches and other related dental conditions in the country.

In this article, we are going to look at the causes of toothaches, home remedies for toothaches, and how to care for our teeth so that we can avoid toothaches to happen in the first place.

What causes toothaches?

Anything strange that happen to your teeth or gums or pain in other parts of your body can instigate a toothache. The common causes include;

  • Mouth or jaw injury
  • Drainage from sinus infections
  • Nerve exposure due to teeth decay
  • Dental abscess or infected tooth
  • Organic or inorganic wedging between teeth can cause toothaches
  • The coming of wisdom teeth which normally breaks through the gums
  • Pain in the jaw joint also known as “Temporomandibular joint disorders” can also cause toothaches.
  • Gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease 
  • Grinding or clenching the teeth can cause toothaches
  • Teeth bleaching products can bring about teeth sensitivity, causing pain
  • Dental procedures that may require drilling can expose your nerve ending leading to toothaches.
  • Gum recession
  • Enamel erosion

What are the home remedies to toothaches?

Before you think of relieving a toothache, it’s important to first find out the cause of the discomfort. From there, you can figure out the best way to relieve any pain, swelling, or other symptoms.

If your toothache is not a result of any underlying problem or you have a pending dental appointment, you can relieve pain or toothaches through the following home remedies.


Elevating your head using two or more pillows can reduce the concentration of blood to the upper area. This can relieve inflammation and pain enough for you to fall asleep.

Saltwater rinse

First, saltwater is a natural disinfectant. Secondly, saltwater can loosen food particles and debris stuck between your teeth. This can effectively heal any oral wounds that may be the cause of the pain. All you need is to rinse with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) of salt with a glass of warm water.

Hydrogen peroxide rinse

Hydrogen peroxide has so many teeth benefits. It can kill bacteria, relieve pain and inflammation, reduce plaque, and can heal bleeding gums. All you need is a mouth wash with a mixture of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with equal parts of water.

Cold compress

A cold compress can cause the blood vessels in the problematic area to constrict. This can reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. To cold compress, wrap ice in the towel and apply to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time.

Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea can relieve pain and soothe sensitive gums. All you need to do is to steep a peppermint tea bag in warm water and apply it to the affected area. You can learn how to make mint iced tea here.

Related: Herbs for bad breath


Garlic can relieve pain and kill harmful bacteria that are responsible for the formation of dental plaque. You just need to crush one clove of garlic into a paste, add a tiny bit of salt, and apply it to the affected area. Learn more about garlic benefits here.

Vanilla extract

Research shows that vanilla extracts have antioxidant properties that make them effective healers and pain relievers. To use vanilla extract, dab a small amount of it onto a cotton ball and apply directly to the affected area a few times throughout the day. But do you know how to choose the best vanilla extract? Here is all you need to know

Related; health benefits of vanilla tea


Clove is a natural antiseptic. It can kill several microbes that are responsible for dental diseases. Clove oil also has the ability to numb the pain and reduce inflammation. This is why for many years; clove oil has been used to treat toothaches.

To use clove oil, dab a reasonable amount of clove oil onto a cotton ball and apply it to the affected area. Clove oil can also be used as a mouthwash. Just add a few drops of clove oil to a glass of water for a ready mouthwash.

Learn more health benefits of cloves here. 

Guava leaves

Guava leaves have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. They can heal wounds as well as kill disease-causing microbes.  You can either chew on fresh guava leaves or crush guava leaves into boiling water, let it cool and you have your mouthwash ready.


Wheatgrass has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The high chlorophyll content alone can fight off several bacteria. It is very simple to use; just use wheatgrass juice as a mouthwash.


According to a study by PubMed, Thyme essential oil has powerful antibacterial and antioxidant properties that can help to treat toothaches. All you need is to dab a few drops of thyme oil and water onto a cotton ball and then apply to the affected area. You can also add a drop of thyme oil to a small glass of water to make a mouthwash.

When should you visit a dentist?

In the first place, we should not wait to see the symptoms and then go to the dentist. Try to visit the dentist at least twice a year to have your teeth checked.

In case of a toothache, apply the above home remedies and monitor your situation over the next 24 hours. If it subsides, you may not need to see the doctor. Make an appointment with the dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Pain that lasts more than two days
  • Swelling
  • Pain when biting
  • Abnormally red gums
  • Discharge or pus

The dentist will determine the most appropriate treatment depending on the cause of the toothache. If it is tooth decay, the dentist will have to clean out and fill the cavities in your teeth.

In case of splits or cracks in your tooth, the dentist may repair it or replace the tooth with a dummy tooth.

If your toothache is due to a sinus infection, antibiotics will be able to treat the symptoms and the sinus will go away.

What are some of the best tips for good oral health?

Regardless of your age, you can keep your teeth strong and healthy if you follow the tips below.

  • Drink fluoridated water
  • Brush using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Brush your teeth every after eating and floss your teeth daily to remove dental plaque
  • Visit a dentist at least twice a year even if you have no symptoms of any tooth disease
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit sugary foods because bacteria changes sugar into acids that affect your teeth
  • Cut back on alcoholic drinks.
  • Don’t use your teeth for anything other than chewing food. It is wrong to open bottle tops using your teeth.
  • In case of changes in taste and smell, see the doctor as soon as immediately.
  • For diabetics, try to keep the disease in control to decrease the risk for other complications such as gum disease.
Bottom line

Toothaches mostly result from tooth decay which is due to poor dental hygiene. Always brush your teeth every after eating and floss your teeth daily to remove dental plaque

Also, don’t wait for symptoms to go to your dentist. Visit a dentist at least twice a year even if you have no symptoms of any tooth disease


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