Flash your teeth when you are laughing or say “cheese”. There are so many things one can do with teeth intact. But when you are down with a toothache, all this takes a backseat. You feel helpless with the disturbing pain in teeth and gums.
Why does this happen? Does it have anything to do with diet? Or is there a connection with some other ailment? Let’s find out.
Here is the list of reasons why toothache happens:
- Tooth Decay – This is the most common reason of toothache. When the inner layer of the tooth gets damaged, the tooth becomes sensitive, and a cavity develops.
- Gum Disease – Mouth pain, red and bleeding gums, and tooth pain are all a sign of gum disease. If left untreated, gums, teeth, even bones can be subject to damage or loss.
- Tooth Abscess – When tooth decay affects the “root” underneath the visible tooth, then infection of root and surrounding tissue will happen.
- Tooth Fracture – Not just bones, even teeth can get fractured. Chips or cracks in teeth show up. This mishap takes place during hi-performance sports activities or when you are biting a hard object.
- Temp. Sensitivity – Teeth can get sensitive to hot and cold drinks and food items. This can lead to shooting pain and is a signal that your tooth enamel has worn out.
- Damaged Fillings – The job of dental fillings is to cover deep pits or grooves in teeth. But when these protectants get damaged, they expose the sensitive part of the teeth leading from “bearable” to “shooting pain”.
- Teeth Grinding – Do you do it? Or does your boss? Teeth grinding happens in stressful situations and also during sleep.
- Improper Brushing – When can the teeth become unstable? When you put unnecessary pressure on teeth and gums, while brushing or flossing.
- Misaligned Teeth – This happens when teeth press against others in the jaw line. This push can lead the teeth to go out of line and hurt.
- Dental Alignment – Are you a “braces” person? This can often lead to oral discomfort and pain and aches among teeth.
Along with the causes, it’s important to know the symptoms of toothache. Here we go:
The symptoms of toothache might look the same when you are down with any other medical or dental problems. Your dentist is the best judge, once he/she evaluates your teeth from all angles.
- Fever or headache – This is symbolic of a heavy-duty infection which may need stronger medication than just oral antibiotics.
- Pain or difficulty in breathing or swallowing – Down with weakened immunity system, diabetes or steroid use? You can be susceptible to infections – even dental and gum infections.
- Swelling in and around the tooth area – A tooth may have been infected so badly, it could lead to infection in the surrounding tissue.
- Lingering pain that lasts more than 30 seconds – This means the pulp has been damaged by deep decay.
- Bad taste in the mouth – There could be several reasons like ‘past and unattended’ dental issues which could lead to toothache.
All this sounds scary, doesn’t it? Relax, there are home remedies to stop this toothache problem.
Here are 30 home remedies to tackle toothache.
1. Clove Oil
What all you need: Cloves (in ‘whole’ form), Clove oil, Olive oil
- Grind two cloves
- Pour few drops of olive oil into the ground cloves
- Apply the paste on the affected tooth
- You can also dab a cotton ball in clove oil and rub it on the sore tooth.
How it works: Eugenol is a natural anesthetic found in cloves which numbs whatever it comes in contact with.
Tip: Clove gives short-term relief, so use it carefully and with discretion.
2. Peppermint Tea Bags/Peppermint Oil
What all you need: Peppermint tea bag, Peppermint oil (optional), cotton ball
- Put a peppermint tea bag in the refrigerator.
- Now apply the refrigerated tea bag on the affected tooth for 15-20 minutes.
- Repeat it, as and when pain returns (after you remove the tea bag).
- Have peppermint essential oil (and not the tea bag)? Then dab a cotton ball with few drops of the oil and put it on the affected area.
How it works: Just like clove oil, Peppermint oil has numbing properties, thanks to menthol, which brings you relief from aching tooth. The easiest way to use peppermint is in tea bag form.
Tip: Are you sensitive to cold things? Then avoid putting peppermint tea bag in the fridge.
3. Salt Water Treatment
What all you need: 1/2 to 1 tsp Common Salt, 1 glass warm water
- In a glass of warm water, mix some salt
- Take some portion of this treated water in your mouth
- Now swirl it around in your mouth gently
- Spit out the water
- Keep doing this as many times till you find relief
How it works: The most common kitchen ingredient (without which cooking cannot happen) – SALT is easily one of the best toothache remedies. Salt reduces pain and swelling by pulling out the fluid from the swollen tissue of tooth and gums.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
What all you need: Hydrogen peroxide solution
- Swish the hydrogen peroxide solution in your mouth for 25-30 seconds
- Rinse it with water (don’t swallow it)
- Repeat this once or twice a day till you get relief
How it works: Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most common remedy for relieving teeth, gum and mouth problems
5. Whiskey/Bourbon-Soaked Cotton Ball
What all you need: Whiskey or brandy, and an Alcoholic Mouthwash
- Take a few drops of alcohol (whiskey or brandy) in your mouth
- Spit it out
- If you are using an alcoholic mouthwash, then swoosh the mouthwash in your mouth, and spit it out
How it works: Did you know alcohol is not just for drinking but also for curing toothache?
What all you need: Garlic clove (crushed), table salt (or black salt)
- Finely chop one garlic
- Mix a bit of table salt (even black salt is effective) to it
- Now apply it on the affected teeth and gums
- After few minutes, rinse it off with warm salt water
How it works: Garlic has an ingredient called “alicin” which has medicinal properties. It is also used to treat dental caries and oral infection.
Tip: You can also chew on the garlic cloves directly
7. Vanilla Extract
What all you need: Vanilla extract
- Put 3-4 drops of pure vanilla extract on a cotton swab
- Press the treated cotton swab mildly and gently on the affected tooth
- Keep trying it when you feel a shot of pain in your teeth coming back
How it works: Vanilla extract, plus the alcohol content in it helps you in getting relief from toothache
What all you need: Ginger root
- Peel off the skin of ginger root
- Now place the ginger on the affected tooth
- If you are able to, then bite into the ginger as well
How it works: Find out the tooth pain rapidly decreasing, as ginger’s healing properties get absorbed into the affected area.
9. Tea Bag
What all you need: Tea bag, Tea leaves (optional), cotton ball
- Dip just a tea bag in warm water (contained in a cup) for few minutes
- Take out the tea bag
- Squeeze the tea bag and drain off the excessive tea
- Now place the tea bag on your aching tooth and gums for relief
How it works: Tea has tannins which reduce-and-relieve swelling and pain from a wounded tooth
Tip: Go ahead and bite the tea bag! This will help release the tea thereby giving you effective relief
10. Ice Cubes
What all you need: Pack of ice (or loose ice), cloth, a bag
- Put ice cubes or packs in a bag
- Wrap a cloth around it
- Now place this cloth on the affected and aching tooth
- The tooth pain will subside due to cold temperature
How it works: Ice cubes (popularly called Cold compress) numb the nerves and gums in the affected area, and reduce the toothache.
Tip: If the ice /ice pack touch the aching tooth directly, the tooth pain can increase. Always cover the ice pack with a piece of cloth.
What all you need: Myrrh (a tincture), water
- Start off by simmering 1 tsp myrrh (powdered) in 2 cups of water for about half an hour
- Strain and then let it cool
- Then do mouth-rinse by using 1 tsp of the solution in half-cup water
- Do this 5-6 times a day.
How it works: Myrrh as an astringent not only reduces tooth inflammation, it also kills bacteria in the mouth
What all you need: Onion (cut form)
- Cut a whole onion into the size that can fit in your mouth comfortably
- The onion should be fresh so that it gives you onion juice
- Put this sliced onion in your affected mouth and gums
- After 5 minutes (or a little more), rinse off your mouth
How it works: Onion is found to have antiseptic plus antimicrobial properties which kill the pain-causing bacteria in the mouth
What all you need: Asafetida powder, fresh lemon juice
- Add 1 tsp Asafetida powder to 5 drops of lemon juice (not canned but freshly squeezed)
- Mix it well into a fine paste
- Now heat it for 30 seconds in the microwave
- Topically apply it on the painful tooth using a q-tip
- Experience relief within few minutes
How it works: Asafetida not only helps in digestion and breath-freshening, it is a very good remedy in treating toothache pain.
14. Guava Leaves
What all you need: Guava leaves, sea salt (optional)
- Gather few guava leaves
- Now start chewing a leaf, until the juice starts working on the affected tooth.
- As an option, you can boil 5 guava leaves in water, let the liquid come down to room temp, and then add a dash of sea salt. Swish in the mouth and spit it (just as you do with a normal mouthwash)
How it works: Leaves of guava are known for their pain-relieving properties of swollen gums and mouth ulcers.
Tip: You can also use guava leaves in paste form for good oral hygiene and fresh and clean breath
15. Oil Pulling
What all you need: Coconut oil
- Start by putting 1-2 tsp coconut oil in the mouth
- Swish (not wish) for about 20 minutes
- This will help break through the plaque and bacteria in the mouth
- Now spit oil in the trash can (preferably)
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Brush well so as to remove any left-over bacteria
How it works: Did you know that oil pulling has a long history of treating the health of the mouth?
Tip: Do not swallow the oil in the procedure as it is full of bacteria and plaque
16. Wheatgrass Juice
What all you need: Wheatgrass juice
- Through with your tooth brushing?
- Use wheatgrass juice as a mouthwash
- Or chew on wheatgrass to get relief from toothache
How it works: Wheatgrass juice is a natural remedy-cum-antibiotic that stops toothache and reverses tooth decay.
What all you need: 1 cucumber piece, sea salt (optional)
- Have refrigerated cucumber? Then first bring it to room temp
- Once it has got normal (in terms of temperature), cut it into slices
- Apply a slice of cucumber over the affected tooth
- Keep it for a few minutes till you find the pain reducing
How it works: The summer-friendly kheera (cucumber) has hemostatic effects, which reduces the blood flow to the affected tooth, thereby reducing toothache and pain.
Tip: You can also mix cucumber with sea salt and apply it on the aching tooth
What all you need: 1 tsp turmeric powder, water, and a cotton ball
- Make a paste of turmeric powder by mixing it with few drops of water
- Dip a cotton ball in the turmeric paste
- Apply it on the affected tooth
How it works: Haldi (or turmeric) is that wonder spice which has long been used as a natural remedy for treating toothaches
Tip: You can also apply turmeric powder directly on the aching tooth or mix it with organic honey (which brings its antibacterial properties as an added advantage).
What all you need: Thyme leaves
- Chew on the thyme leaves
- The attempt should be to bring out its juice
- Let the juice of thyme come in contact with the painful tooth for best results
How it works: The juice of the thyme leaves (when chewed) not only reduces pain, it also helps in healing bleeding gums.
Tip: As an option, you can dilute thyme essential oil (few drops of it) with carrier oil like olive oil, and then gargle with it.
What all you need: Toothpick
- Use a toothpick after you have eaten food (of any size – small or large)
- Move the toothpick in between your teeth gently so as to dislodge stuck food particles
How it works: Flossing is a proactive way to remove any food debris that could be trapped in your teeth.
What all you need: 1 tsp lemon juice, salt, warm water (optional)
- Add salt to lemon juice (in the qty. mentioned)
- Now rub it on your aching teeth and gums
- Keep doing it 3-4 times on a daily basis
- Alternatively, you can also drink a glass of warm water with lemon juice (for relief)
How it works: Lemon (or lime juice) by itself is antibacterial and antiviral. When you drink lemon juice daily, you would be safe from all kinds of pain (that includes toothache).
Tip: Rub few drops of lemon essential oil on aching tooth.
22. Baking Soda
What all you need: 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp sea salt, water
- Mix salt, baking soda and water and make it into a paste
- Now rub this paste on the affected teeth and gums – just like you do with normal toothpaste
- Massage it gently for 10-15 min
- Do this once or twice a day
How it works: This remedy will not only reduce the pain in teeth, it will also whiten your teeth by removing plaque-formation
23. Oregano Oil
What all you need: Oregano essential oil, colloidal silver, salt water
- Put few drops of oregano oil under your tongue
- After few seconds, spit out the oil
- Now swish colloidal silver in your mouth
- Rinse your mouth 4 to 5 times
- Do some gargling with warm water which has been mixed with sea salt
- In the last, rub oregano oil directly into your gums
How it works: The ‘trio’ of oregano oil, colloidal silver and salt water is one of the best remedies for toothaches
24. Olive Oil
What all you need: 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Put the required amount of olive oil in your mouth
- Rotate it in your mouth for about 10 min
- Puff your cheeks inside out so as to help the oil reach through your teeth
- Now spit out the oil
How it works: Olive oil can be used to treat everything – from tooth aches to gingivitis.
What all you need: 1 tsp cinnamon powder, 5 tsp honey
- Mix the ingredients together to form a paste
- Apply a small portion of it to your aching gums and tooth
- Keep applying the balance paste to the aching tooth twice or thrice a day till you get relief
How it works: A paste (and its simple to make) using honey and cinnamon powder is the easiest way to provide you with toothache relief.
26. Black Seed Oil
What all you need: Black Seed Oil
- Rub a small amount of Black Seed Oil on the affected tooth/gum
- Repeat it after 15 sec
How it works: Black Seed Oil has been found effective at treating toothaches
Tip: You can also mix half a tsp of Black Seed Oil in a small glass of warm water, and gargle with it.
27. Apply Pressure
What all you need: Your thumb
- Use your thumb to press the point on the back of your other hand where the base of your thumb and your index finger meet.
- Apply pressure for about 2 minutes.
- This helps trigger the release of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good hormones.
How it works: Acupressure technique helps in stopping the tooth pain fast.
28. Ginger-Cayenne Paste
What all you need: 1 tsp powdered ginger, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, water
- Mix the ingredients in a cup
- Add a few drops of water and make it into a paste
- Dab a cotton ball with this paste
- Now apply it on the affected tooth
How it works: Cayenne pepper and Ginger combo is pretty effective in the relief of toothache pain
Tip: Put the cotton ball on the affected tooth, not gums as Cayenne Pepper can irritate the surrounding gums.
29. Vinegar and Brown Paper
What all you need: Brown paper (as grocery bag), Vinegar
- Soak a small brown paper in vinegar
- Sprinkle one side of it in black pepper (optional)
- Now hold this to the cheek
How it works: The warm sensation of brown paper on your cheeks might be a good distraction for you from toothache
30. Pepper and Salt
What all you need: 1/4 tsp Salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, water
- Mix salt and pepper in the described qty.
- Add a few drops of water to make it into a thick paste
- Apply it on the affected tooth
- Let it sit for few minutes
How it works: Salt mixed with pepper is an age-old and time-tested remedy for a toothache.
There is nothing like Prevention. Lets find out the ways in which we can prevent toothache to happen in the first place.
Prevention and Tips
Wanna know how to prevent toothaches? Here are some steps you can take to relieve yourself from tooth pain.
- Floss once a day (at least). This will help remove food particles lying wedged between the teeth or along the gum line which could cause pain.
- After your meals (whether small or light), rinse your mouth thoroughly with salty water, then spit it out. What will this do? Flush out food particles that could be the reason of tooth pain.
- Brush with the right tools – It means use a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. Try and use the softest-bristled brush to preserve gum tissue and prevent further shrinking.
- Cover a crack with gum – Have a broken tooth or have lost a filling? Get relief from the pain by covering the exposed area of the tooth with softened chewing gum.
- Ice it – Put an ice cube in a plastic bag, put a thin cloth around it, then apply it to the aching tooth for 15 minutes. This will numb the painful nerves.
- Try out OTC pain medication for immediate relief. There is “benzocaine” which you can apply to the painful area. Don’t ever put aspirin or other painkillers directly on your gum tissue or in your tooth—it will burn.
- Keep your mouth shut – It means if cold air passing through your tooth is a problem, then shut off the flow by keeping your mouth shut.
What happens if these preventive remedies fail? You will have to go to the Dentist.
When to Seek Medical Attention?
- Make it to the dentist, if along with toothache, you are down with fever or if you have breathing or swallowing problem.
- If your toothache lasts for more than a day, don’t wait. See your dentist immediately.
Is tooth pain a sign of other health problems?
Yes, mouth pain is the first sign of problems with your gums/teeth and dental nerves. There is also a chance your toothache could be related to other health issues. See a dentist right away.
What is tooth abscess?
It is a combination of material which collects from a bacterial infection that has occurred in the center of the tooth. Tooth abscess happens due to tooth decay and is very painful. This is why it needs immediate medical attention.
How can parents help in preventing tooth decay?
A. After the “first tooth” of the child has come out, means it is time for the parents to take the child regularly to the dentist. Once done, the dentist can recommend brushing, flossing and other such treatments to be taught to the children (under parental supervision).
[ Also Read: Is Ibuprofen Good For Toothache]
I hope you found this article helpful, informative and tooth-elaborating! Share it with your friends, colleagues, neighbors and peers, but look after your teeth!
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Can tooth pain cause headaches?
Yes a tooth pain can be the cause to your headaches. As the nerve endings causing the tooth inflammation can also cause pain that relays in parts of the head.
If I ignore toothache, will it go away?
Usually a toothache goes away even if you ignore it. Although, sometimes it could pose a serious problem, so getting it checked seems like a better option.