A toothache can be a nightmare to deal with. It’s a constant ache that doesn’t let you eat or sleep and can make you irritable. It can cause headaches, nausea, and compromise your productivity. The best remedy to a toothache is to visit the dentist and let them determine the root cause of the problem. Home remedies for toothache are nothing more than a temporary fix, because they will only address the symptom and not the underlying problem. However, there are many that can ease your pain and make it more bearable.


Your first step should be to book an appointment with your dentist. A toothache isn’t considered a dental emergency so you might not get the appointment on the same day. The more you delay, the longer you will have to bear the pain. You should call the doctor the moment you notice the pain. If you experience headache, sore mouth and gums, and have sensitive teeth, you should call your dentist immediately.


Some common recommendations are effective while others can do more harm than good. Here’s a list of effective toothache home remedies that will minimize the pain and help you remain comfortable until you can visit your dentist:

  • OTC Pain Medication – Over the counter medication is the best way to combat tooth pain until you can visit the dentist. You can take Advil, Ibuprofen, or Aspirin (always talk to your doctor about what OTC medications you are taking). Just make sure you swallow the medication instead of applying it over the gums and tooth. Topical application of these medications doesn’t work and will cause more harm than good. Your dentist can recommend pain medication that would help you feel better.
  • OTC Topical Gels– If you don’t want to consume pain meds, you can purchase over the counter gels and liquids that can be applied directly to the sore tooth and gums. These topical solutions should be used in moderation and only as directed on the package. They numb your mouth and can cause extensive damage if you keep using them.
  • Saltwater Rinse– A saltwater rinse is one of the most commonly recommended at-home pain remedies for toothache and for good reason; it is effective and easy. You just need to mix about half a teaspoon of table salt with about 8 ounces of warm water. Swirl this mixture around in your mouth for a few seconds and spit it out. Don’t swallow this mixture as that can cause nausea and ruin your appetite.
  • Cold Compress – If your face around the affected tooth is swollen, you should apply a cold compress to ease the pain. The compress will help with inflammation and numb the area so you experience less pain. A cold compress can be uncomfortable, but this is an effective way to minimize the pain.
  • Clove Oil– Clove oil is a natural alternative to OTC gels and liquids. You can add a little oil on a cotton ball or a cotton swab before applying it on the affected area around the tooth and gums. The oil will act as a numbing agent and temporarily block the pain. This remedy isn’t as effective as other treatments and can cause more discomfort if applied to sensitive areas.
  • Peppermint Tea Bags – Wet peppermint tea bags are a safer alternative to clove oil. They will numb the area and soothe the pain for a few moments. Peppermint only works when the bag is in active contact with the affected area so you will have to keep it in place for at least 20 minutes to be effective.
  • Peppermint Tea – Drinking peppermint tea will also help you relax and ease the pain. Just put a teaspoon of dried peppermint in boiling water and let the mixture stew for around 20 minutes. After the tea cools down to a reasonable temperature, you should sip it slowly and let the tea swirl in your mouth before you swallow. This will help with the pain and soothe the headache that accompanies it.
  • Brushing and Flossing– Sometimes the pain comes from something being stuck between the teeth. You should brush your teeth twice a day and floss gently. That will help relieve the pain and dislodge the particle that was stuck in your tooth. Use a soft bristled brush to ensure your gums aren’t harmed.

All of these remedies are temporary and won’t eliminate the pain completely. If you experience tooth pain, you should visit the dentist as soon as you can. Some people have the tendency to ignore mild toothache and that can cause problems down the line. If you want to avoid this problem entirely, make sure you follow a good oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist at least twice a year.