Toothaches happen when the pulp, the particularly sensitive central portion of the tooth, becomes irritated or inflamed. The pulp consists of many nerve endings which are very sensitive. Cavities often cause a toothache and people can get cavities from the bacteria present in the mouth which are more active with sugar and starch that get stuck between teeth and gums. Bacteria produce acids that damage the teeth and this damage can reach the nerve.
There are also many reasons for a toothache to occur, such as infection in the gums, a damaged filling, and tooth decay, fracture of the tooth, abscessed tooth, jaw joint disorder and repetitive motions like grinding teeth or chewing gum.
What are the symptoms of a toothache?
The symptoms may include sharp pain of the tooth like its throbbing constantly. Some people can only feel the pain when pressure is being applied to the tooth. There will be swelling around the tooth and you can experience a headache, fever and foul-tasting drainage from the swollen tooth.
A toothache is never fun as the possible experience may vary from mild pain to an agonizing throbbing pain in the infected tooth and around the jaws. However, with a good dentist, the pain should be short-term. If you have a toothache, seek immediate advice from your dentist before it becomes worse!
You can go to a pharmacy if you could not get an appointment right away. You can buy aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for general pain relief. You can also try natural home remedies to ease the pain temporarily.
19 Natural Home Remedies for Toothache Relief
You can try the approaches below.
#1 Use Clove Oil
Clove oil may sting at first but you can feel the relief afterward. Cloves are a traditional medication for numbing nerves. Clove oil has powerful properties that can kill bacteria. It can also make the area of your tooth numb which is why many people are using clove oil as a cure for a toothache. It was found out that the extracts from clove buds contain eugenol which also performs as a local anesthetic. Pouring the oil on the infected area may worsen the pain if it gets into the sensitive tissue or on the tongue.
- Simply use two drops of clove oil on a cotton ball.
- Place the cotton ball against the tooth until the pain disappears. You can use a bit of powdered clove or a whole clove.
#2 Whole Cloves
You can also acquire the same numbing result from whole cloves.
- Simply put few whole cloves in your mouth and let it soak until soft.
- Press it a little between the uninfected molars to release the oil and hold the cloves on your infected tooth for at least thirty minutes.
- You can also chew the whole clove a bit to release the oil. Keep it on the infected area for at least 30 minutes or until the pain decreases.
#3 Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea does not only have great flavor but it also has numbing effects that can help your infected tooth.
- Simply put 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water and steep for at least 20 minutes.
- When the tea cools down, you can swish it around your mouth and you can either swallow it or spit it out. You can do this as many times as necessary.
- Strong black tea can also help suppress pain by decreasing swelling.
#4 3% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
To kill bacteria and feel some relief, you can use 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
- Swish it around your mouth and this can offer temporary relief if a toothache goes with by fever and foul taste.
- This solution is only for rinsing and you have it out and rinse your mouth with water many times. Like other remedies mentioned and will be mentioned, this is only for temporary relief and you will need to see your dentist in order to clear up the infection.
#5 Salt and Pepper
Salt with a mix of pepper can be beneficial when it comes to the extremely sensitive tooth as both ingredients have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibacterial properties.
- Simply mix equal amounts of salt and pepper.
- Add few drops of water to make a paste.
- Apply the mixture directly to the infected teeth and allow it to sit for few minutes. You can do this daily if you are still waiting for your appointment with your dentist.
#6 Coconut Oil
Swish 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for at least 15 minutes. It is believed that this procedure can decrease the number of bacteria in the mouth as the bacteria get stuck in the oil. After 15 to 20 minutes, spit the oil out into the trash can. You will be swallowing the bacteria if you swallow the oil.
Garlic can also offer immense relief from the excruciating pain of a toothache. Garlic contains antibiotic and medicinal properties which are effective to decrease the pain.
- Simply mix crushed garlic clove or you can use garlic powder with salt.
- Apply the mixture directly to the infected tooth to lessen the pain. You may also chew one clove of garlic to lessen the pain.
Onions have antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which can also manage a toothache. It can give temporary relief from the pain by slaying the germs that are causing the infection.
- Chew raw onion for few minutes to lessen or relieve the pain.
- Place a piece of raw onion on the infected tooth or gum if you cannot chew it.
#9 Warm Water with Salt
A glass of boiling water with dissolved salt can lessen the pain from a toothache. This solution is also used for a sore throat. It is a pain-killing mouthwash that can remove irritating debris and help reduce swelling. Saltwater draws out some fluid that can cause swelling and it cleanses the area around the infected tooth.
- Mix half a spoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with the mixture for at least 30 seconds before spitting it out. This can help in reducing the inflammation and swelling. It can also combat the bacteria that are causing the infection. Repeat this treatment as often as necessary.
#10 Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is also known as a natural home remedy for a toothache. It has numbing effect as well as calming effect.
- Dip a cotton ball in vanilla extract and apply it on the affected tooth or area.
- Do this procedure as many as needed until the pain disappears.
#12 Guava Leaves
Fresh guava leaves are not only great for wounds but it can also lessen the pain from a toothache. It contains antimicrobial, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Chew two tender guava leaves until its juice come out. You will feel the wonder of guava leaves on and around the infected tooth.
- Another way to use guava leaves is for rinsing. Get five guava leaves and boil it in water.
- Once it boiled, let it cool down for a bit and add salt.
- Swish the solution in your mouth and spit it out.
Dental problems such as bleeding gums and toothache can be treated with the use of asafetida.
- Add one-half teaspoon of powdered asafetida to two teaspoons of lemon juice.
- Warm it up for a little. Dip a cotton pad and apply it on the infected tooth and gums. This can give you relief.
- Another way to use asafetida is to fry it in clarified butter. This can be applied on the infected tooth for relief.
#14 Ginger-Cayenne Paste
The main chemical property of cayenne is capsaicin which has been found to hinder pain messages from getting into the brain.
- Mix equal amount of ginger and cayenne spices with water to make a paste.
- Roll a small cotton ball into the paste to saturate it.
- Place the ball on your infected tooth but do not put it on tongue and gums.
- Leave it on until the pain disappears or as long as you can as the mixture burns.
Ice can temporarily numb your nerves. Simply take small ice cubs in a plastic bag and wrap it in a thin cloth. Apply it on your tooth for at least 15 minutes to calm the nerves. Aside from plastic bag, you can use ice pack instead and place it on your cheek where the painful tooth is.
According to traditional stories, massaging your hand with ice cubes can help in reducing pain. When the nerves in your fingers send cold signals to the brain, it can override the pain signals from the tooth. Simply wrap an ice cube in a thin cloth and massage it between your fingers.
Myrrh has astringent properties which can reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. Simmer 1 teaspoon of myrrh powder in 2 cups of water for half an hour. Once it is cool enough, you can rinse with 1 teaspoon of the solution in a ½ cup of water five up to six times a day.
There are numerous pain-relieving compounds found in the leaves and bark of neem that can reduce pain and discomfort of a toothache. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can fight the infection. It can also prevent tooth decay. Neem has become popular ingredient used in dental care products like toothpaste and mouthwash.
- Chew the leaves of neem to eliminate a toothache. If you cannot chew them, do the following:
- Crush the leaves to get its juice and add it to your toothpaste. Rub it on your tooth and let it still for few minutes before you rinse your mouth.
- You can also boil the leaves for at least 10 to 15 minutes. When it is warm enough, you can use it as a mouthwash.
- Another way of using neem is to apply neem oil to the infected tooth and gums.
#18 Raw Potato
Raw potato is one of the oldest fold remedies in relieving pain. It can also be used as a relief from a toothache because of its cooling effect that can give relief from inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of potatoes can absorb excess moisture and cure inflammation.
- Peel and slice a raw potato. Take a piece and place it on the affected tooth for few minutes.
- Another way to use the potato is by grating it and crushing it to make a paste. Mix some pepper and salt and rub the paste on the infected tooth and gums.
#19 Brush with Baking Soda
You can use baking soda as alternative toothpaste as this is effective to decrease the amount of tooth eroding bacteria present in your mouth. Avoid foods that are rich in processed and refined sugars and flours as these can attract tooth deteriorating bacteria and can damage the teeth further. Sugars and flours can also undo the re-mineralization of the teeth.
How to Prevent a Toothache
Prevention is always better than cure. Since most toothaches are caused by tooth decay, it is important to brush your teeth regularly with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Do not forget to floss at least once a day in order to get rid of small debris lurking between your teeth. Use an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing and visit your dentist two times a year for professional cleaning.
Another factor that can prevent toothaches is your eating habits. It is important to eat a healthy diet and decrease the amount of sugar intake. If you cannot resist eating sweet stuff such as chocolates and cake, always drink water and brush your teeth. Do not forget to brush before going to bed as bacteria are more likely to multiply during the night.
Include more fruits, vegetables, wholegrain bread in your diet. Wholegrain bread and vegetables have fiber that can help in cleaning plaque and bacteria off teeth. Vitamin D is also important to strengthen the teeth which you can get naturally from the sun or from fish oils that are found in tuna and salmon. Vitamin D also helps in calcium absorption.