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Tooth Ache Relief: 10 Ways to Effectively Relieve Toothaches

Woman holding her forehead and neck because of pain

Toothaches can be uncomfortable and disrupt daily routine. It can also affect sleep patterns. Whether it is a dull ache or a sharp pain, finding relief is a top priority. Fortunately, there are several remedies and techniques to choose from. Some of the effective toothache relief methods are salt water, hydrogen peroxide, and herbal solutions. Others may opt for pain medicines and electrical stimulation. Trying various strategies can help find the best option for each individual.

Dental pain occurs due to various causes. A common reason is when the nerve in the root of a tooth or surrounding area becomes irritated or inflamed. Infection, decay, and tooth fractures are also risk factors. Hence, it can lead to discomfort and affect daily activities. In this article, we will explore ten pain relief options for toothaches that can be done at home quickly.

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How to Achieve Toothache Relief with Saltwater

Saltwater is a simple and effective remedy for toothaches. It is a solution containing a mixture of water and salt that helps to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria in the mouth. It cleans debris in the mouth that may cause aches. To use salt water for toothache relief, mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Stir the mixture well until the salt is dissolved.

Once ready, gargle the solution for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Focus on the area where the toothache is located. Repeat this process several times a day to help alleviate pain and promote healing. Additionally, swishing salt water inside the mouth can also relieve sore throat pain.

The benefit of this remedy is to increase the pH level in the mouth. It creates an alkaline environment that reduces swelling. Moreover, salt water is a natural disinfectant and can stop bacterial growth. If there is an abscess, salt water can help break up the pus surrounding the tooth. Individuals may try this option first before moving on to other remedies.

How to Salt Water Rinse

  • Mix one teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. This helps kill the bacteria and disinfect.
  • Stir until the salt is dissolved.
  • Take a sip of the solution and swish it around the mouth for 30 seconds.
  • Spit the water out and repeat the process a few times.
  • Make sure not to swallow the water.
  • For best results, incorporate saltwater rinse into the oral hygiene routine several times a week after brushing or flossing.
  • If the mouth is sensitive, use ½ teaspoon of salt instead of a full teaspoon for the first two days.

A man experiencing pain with his eyes closed

How to Achieve Toothache Relief with Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has antibacterial properties that can provide toothache relief. It is a mild antiseptic that can help kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. It works by releasing oxygen and breaking down the barrier surrounding bacteria in the mouth. This makes it difficult for microorganisms to survive. Additionally, it helps clean plaque and heal gums.

To relieve pain, mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water in a small cup. Take a sip of the solution and swish it around the mouth before spitting it out. Another way to use hydrogen peroxide is to soak a cotton ball in the solution and then apply it directly to the affected tooth. Leave it on for a few minutes to help reduce pain and inflammation.

It is important to note that while hydrogen peroxide can provide temporary relief from toothaches, it is not a long-term solution. Furthermore, it should not be swallowed or ingested. It is always best to consult a dentist as soon as possible if the tooth pain persists or worsens.

How to Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

To perform a hydrogen peroxide rinse, start by diluting the solution with water. The typical ratio is one part hydrogen peroxide to three parts water. However, it can vary depending on the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide. Once the solution is ready, swish it inside the mouth for about 30 seconds to a minute.

Be careful not to swallow any of the rinse. Afterwards, spit out the solution and wash the mouth with plain water to remove any hydrogen peroxide. It is vital that rinses are in moderation, as excessive use can lead to irritation and damage to mouth tissues.

A woman with her head in her hand due to pain

How to Achieve Toothache Relief with Cold Compress

A cold compress can provide toothache relief by constricting blood vessels and numbing the area. It is a suitable method if the pain comes with inflammation. Moreover, people can apply a cold compress to the outside of the cheek if the toothache is caused by dental trauma. For example, hold an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas against the outside jaw for 15-20 minutes.

Cold compresses are enough to provide temporary tooth pain relief to get some sleep. But if a toothache is due to cavities or underlying dental problems, only a dentist can help with a permanent solution. A dentist can properly diagnose the source of the toothache and provide appropriate treatment to alleviate the pain and prevent further complications.

Use cold compresses on and off throughout the day as needed to help manage toothache pain. Remember to always wrap the cold compress in a cloth or towel to prevent direct contact with the skin, which can cause frostbite.

How to Apply Cold Compress

To apply a cold compress, wrap an ice pack in a thin cloth or towel. Place the ice pack on the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time. Never apply ice directly to the skin, as it can cause skin damage or irritation.

Repeat the process every two to three hours for the first 24-48 hours after an injury or until the swelling is reduced. Cold temperature can help numb the area and reduce inflammation, providing temporary relief from tooth pain. Remember to consult a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for long-term relief from toothaches.

A woman pinching her nose because of her pain

How to Achieve Toothache Relief with OTC Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers can be helpful in providing toothache relief for mild to moderate pain. The first step is to find the right medication. Most emergency dentists recommend ibuprofen or aspirins as the first-line medication option. They are types of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) that work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins. This can help reduce swelling that contributes to oral pain.

Acetaminophen is also a good option for pain relief, but it does not have the same anti-inflammatory properties as ibuprofen. This medication works by blocking pain signals in the brain, providing relief from discomfort. It is also ideal for toothaches that come with a fever. Acetaminophen or paracetamol have milder effects on the stomach. Those who cannot tolerate NSAIDs may opt for paracetamol.

When using OTC pain medications, it is essential to follow the dosage instructions on the packaging. Do not exceed the maximum daily limit to avoid any side effects. Consulting a healthcare professional before taking any medicines is also important, especially if there are underlying health conditions or allergies.

Risks When Taking OTC Pain Relievers

  • NSAIDs increase the risk of gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding.
  • Higher chance of kidney damage, especially with prolonged or high-dose use of ibuprofen or aspirin.
  • Potential liver damage when taking high doses of acetaminophen.
  • Long-term use of NSAIDs increases the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Allergic reactions, including skin rashes, hives, or anaphylaxis, can occur with any over-the-counter pain medications.
  • Frequent use of pain relievers can lead to medication overuse headaches or rebound headaches.
  • Interactions with other medications or health conditions can occur, leading to serious complications.
  • Risk of developing tolerance to analgesics, leading to a need for higher doses or constant use.

A woman holding her neck due to pain

How to Achieve Toothache Relief with Peppermint Tea Bags

Peppermint tea bags are another toothache relief method that individuals can do at home. They contain menthol, which has antibacterial properties. Peppermint also has natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help soothe toothaches. To use this option, start by brewing a strong cup of peppermint tea bag. Let it cool down so it is comfortable to drink. Then, take a sip of the tea and swish it around the area of the toothache.

Another way to achieve pain relief is to place a used tea bag directly on the affected tooth or gum. Allow the tea bag to cool down after brewing, and then place it on the painful area. It should only be a little warm, not hot, to avoid burning the sensitive tissues in the mouth.

Furthermore, freezing the tea bag can also provide an extra soothing effect. The cooling sensation of the tea bag, combined with the calming properties of peppermint, can help numb the pain. Leave the tea bag in place until the pain subsides.

How to Apply Peppermint Tea Bags

Begin by steeping a peppermint tea bag in hot water for five minutes. Then, remove the tea bag and let it cool down slightly. Place it directly on the affected tooth or gum area. In addition, gently bite down the tea bag to release the oils of the peppermint into the painful area.

Individuals may leave the tea bag in place for 10-15 minutes. They may also alternate it with a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain. Put the used tea bag in the freezer for two minutes and then apply it to the tooth. Repeat this process throughout the day as needed.

A woman experiencing a headache with her toothache

How to Achieve Toothache Relief with Garlic

Garlic is known for its natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great home remedy. There are many ways to use garlic for toothache relief. One method is to gently chew on a freshly peeled garlic clove for a few minutes. This can help release allicin, a compound that helps ease inflammation, to alleviate the pain.

Another method is to make a garlic paste. Crush a fresh garlic clove and mix it with a little salt to create a paste. Once it is ready, apply it directly to the affected area. Leave the garlic paste on for a few minutes before rinsing with warm salt water. Be careful not to get the garlic on other sensitive areas of the mouth, as it can cause irritation.

An alternative way is to create a garlic oil. Crush a few cloves of garlic and mix them with olive oil or coconut oil. Let the mixture sit for a few hours or overnight to allow the oil to infuse with the garlic. Once ready, strain the mixture and apply a few drops of garlic oil to the painful area.

How to Apply the Garlic Paste

To make a garlic paste, crush a fresh garlic clove and mix it with a little bit of oil to create a thick consistency. Once the paste is ready, use clean hands or a cotton swab to apply it directly to the tooth or gum. Massage the garlic paste gently into the painful area.

Leave the garlic for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it with warm salt water. However, avoid cramming the paste far into the tooth, especially if there are cavities present. Individuals may repeat this process a few times a day to achieve effective relief.

A woman experiencing pain while getting out of bed

How to Achieve Toothache Relief with the Toothache Plant

The toothache plant is a medicinal plant known for its numbing effects. This plant contains a compound called spilanthol, which has local anaesthetic properties. It can help alleviate pain and discomfort when applied topically. People can get toothache relief by rubbing the leaf or flower on the affected tooth.

Chewing the leaf can release juice, creating a numbing sensation for about 15 minutes. Moreover, individuals also create homemade mouthwash by steeping the leaves or flowers in hot water. Then, allow it to cool and use it as a rinse to soothe the affected area. It can also help treat sore gums and mouth ulcers.

Another way to relieve toothaches is by creating a natural toothache salve or ointment. To do this, infuse the leaves or flowers of the plant in a carrier oil to create a pain-relieving balm. Afterwards, apply the salve to the painful tooth or gum area for relief. Lastly, people with toothaches can also consume the plant internally. It is edible and can be added to salads and stews.

When Not to Use This Plant

  • The toothache plant is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Animal studies suggest that the plant can cause birth defects.
  • Individuals with prostate cancer. The toothache plant stimulates male hormone production, which may affect the actions of drugs used to treat prostate cancer.
  • Individuals with sensitive skin or allergies to the daisy family. The plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.
  • People taking diuretics (water pills) for blood pressure or swelling.
  • Children should not use the toothache plant without proper supervision as it may be too potent for their needs.
  • People with underlying medical conditions without consulting a health professional.

A woman experiencing pain while walking outside

How to Achieve Toothache Relief with Clove

Clove is a natural remedy containing the active ingredient of eugenol. It is a compound that acts as a natural anaesthetic and antibacterial agent. Individuals may use either clove oil (extracted from the plant) or whole cloves. In particular, clove oil promotes dental health. It can help soothe toothaches and inhibit cavity-forming organisms.

To use clove oil for toothache relief, simply soak a cotton ball and place it on the painful tooth. Leave it on for a few minutes to allow the oil to numb the area and provide relief. Another method is to use is to use whole cloves. Place it between the teeth and gently bite down to release the oils. The natural numbing properties can help alleviate toothache discomfort.

Furthermore, grounding cloves can have the same effects as a garlic paste. Mix a quarter teaspoon of olive oil with ground cloves and apply the paste with a cotton swab. Leave the paste on the tooth for about 30 minutes. Lastly, people can try making clove tea by simmering whole cloves in hot water. Let it cool slightly before drinking.

How to Apply the Clove Solution

To apply a clove solution, start by mixing a few drops of clove essential oil with coconut or olive oil. It will help dilute the strong clove oil and prevent irritation on the skin. Once the mixture is ready, apply it directly to the affected area. It is also beneficial for muscle pain or arthritis.

Another way is to grind whole cloves into a fine powder using mortar and pestle. Once they are ready, massage the powder gently onto the painful area using a clean finger or cotton swab. Allow the clove solution to sit on the tooth or gum for a few minutes.

A woman frowning while laying in bed due to pain

How to Achieve Toothache Relief with Guava Leaves, Wheatgrass & Thyme

More ways to achieve natural toothache relief are with guava leaves, wheatgrass and thyme. Guava leaves contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help relieve tooth pain caused by poor oral hygiene and bacterial infections. Individuals may either chew the guava leaves or make a mouthwash. The juice can help numb the area and alleviate pain.

Similarly, wheatgrass has antibacterial properties that can help relieve toothaches. It can help prevent the growth of bacteria that cause cavities. In addition, it is rich in vitamins A, C, and E and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron, which are essential for oral health. Ways to use wheatgrass is by juicing it or chewing it directly.

On the other hand, thyme has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve toothache pain. It can help fight bacteria, tooth decay, and gingivitis. Individuals can alleviate intense pain by applying thyme essential oil or diluting it with water. Overall, these natural ingredients offer anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can reduce pain and promote dental health.

How to Apply These Natural Remedies

Individuals may use guava leaves and wheatgrass by chewing them to release their juices. They may also make a mouthwash or oral rinse. To do this, grind five to six tender guava leaves and add one cup of boiling water. Add a little salt and gargle for 30 seconds.

For wheatgrass, grind two teaspoons of fresh wheatgrass, add water, and mix thoroughly. Rinse the mouth twice a day until the pain eases up. Alternatively, people can add a few drops of thyme essential oil to a cotton ball and press it against the tooth for 15 minutes.

A small and long wing electrodes with refill gel pads

How to Achieve Toothache Relief with TENS

Individuals looking for a drug-free and non-invasive method to relieve toothache may benefit from Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy. It involves sending electrical impulses through the skin near the affected area. It utilises a portable device called a TENS machine with adhesive electrode pads. TENS is a popular chronic pain treatment and can provide fast toothache relief.

TENS therapy works by stimulating the sensory nerves to block pain signals from reaching the brain. Additionally, it triggers the release of endorphins and reduces inflammation. The device has adjustable settings to control the frequency and intensity of the electrical pulses according to individual comfort levels.

To use a TENS unit, place small electrodes on the outside cheek near the affected tooth. Another placement would be on specific pressure points based on the instructions of a healthcare provider. Do not put the TENS pads near the temples or throat to avoid any discomfort. Start with a low-intensity setting and gradually increase it until the pain subsides.

Conditions TENS Can Treat in Dentistry

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders: It is a condition affecting the joints and muscles that cause jaw pain. When the joint is inflamed, it can result in toothaches, difficulty chewing, and clicking noises when opening or closing the mouth.
  • Periodontal disease: It is a gum disease often caused by bacteria and plaque build-up. Poor oral hygiene practices increase the risk of periodontal disease. The plaque can harden into tartar, leading to inflammation and infection.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia: It is a neurological condition that causes chronic facial pain. It affects the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for transmitting sensory information from the face to the brain.


Toothaches are a common pain condition that affects many people. It occurs for various reasons, including poor oral habits, infections, or underlying disorders. Moreover, the symptoms can range from mild aches to severe pain. Thus, finding effective toothache relief is vital in managing discomfort and promoting oral health. Natural remedies like salt water, hydrogen peroxide, and cold compress can help ease the first signs of dental pain. Likewise, OTC pain relievers are effective in reducing inflammation.

Furthermore, peppermint tea, garlic, cloves, guava leaves, wheatgrass, and thyme have medicinal properties that help fight bacteria and reduce swelling. Lastly, TENS therapy is a promising alternative for those with underlying issues like TMJ disorders, periodontal disease, and trigeminal neuralgia. It can also help ease post-surgical dental operations. Nevertheless, while these remedies can provide temporary relief, they are not a substitute for professional dental care. It is essential to consult a dentist for persistent pain.

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