7 Effective Home Remedies To Treat A Toothache, And When To See A Dentist

Dr. Ash Sagar

Sudden toothaches can be a source of stress and anxiety. You might not know how to find the right dentist or what to do until you get there.

Toothaches can be excruciating. When your teeth hurt, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. You feel like you are going to lose your mind if you don’t find relief soon. 

A toothache is best treated by finding out the cause of the pain and then treating it accordingly. It could be that there’s an infection or something more serious going on with one of your teeth, so make sure that you see a dentist as soon as possible. We will discuss ways to relieve the pain until you can get in touch with us for help.

A toothache is experienced when inflammation in the central area causes pain in the nerve endings.  Tooth decay is the most common cause of toothaches. If it’s not treated fast enough, it could lead to an abscess. Other common causes of toothaches are:

A sore tooth is usually an indication that there is something wrong with your teeth or gums. However, in some cases, a toothache can be referred pain, meaning that another problem in the body caused it.

Over-the-counter Toothache Relief

You should be able to get some toothache relief from the drugstore while you’re waiting for your dentist appointment. Here’s a list of over-the-counter products that you can use to treat your toothache and help reduce dental pain and inflammation:

  • NSAIDs: NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are potent drugs that can help you temporarily manage your oral pain. Naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) target inflammation and can give you some relief from tooth pain. Aspirin may help reduce jaw pain in adults (aspirin is not recommended for children under 16 years old).

  •  Make sure to swallow aspirin instead of putting it directly on your teeth or gums. This folk remedy is ineffective and can damage the inside lining of your mouth. Remember that NSAIDs may irritate or damage the stomach and other organs in your body if taken over a long period, so take them in moderation.
  • Acetaminophen: If you can’t take NSAIDs for some reason, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a good alternative for temporary toothache pain relief. Dentists recommend this medication for children. For the correct dosage and instructions on how much to take, make sure that you read the label carefully. If taken too often or in high doses, it can also damage your liver. 
  • Drops and Gels: Topical medications like benzocaine gels and drops can soothe a painful tooth but should be used sparingly. Never use more than the recommended dose of this numbing agent and never apply it to children under two years old. Store these products away from young kids to prevent accidental ingestion or overdose.

Home Remedies for Toothache

Try these toothache home remedies for temporary relief of a toothache:

  • Clove Oil:
    Clove oil is often used as a home remedy for toothaches. It has antiseptic properties that help reduce pain and inflammation. Use a cotton ball soaked in a mixture of olive oil and clove oil. Place the soaked cotton swab on the affected area and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use clove oil as a mouthwash by combining a drop of clove oil with a glass of water, then rinsing your mouth thoroughly. Clove oil is generally safe but is not recommended for children.

  • Saltwater Rinse:
    Using salt to fight against pain is something that has been done for centuries. Saltwater can help loosen debris between your teeth and act as a disinfectant while reducing gum inflammation. Add one teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water and mix well. Gargle with the saltwater solution for 30 seconds and then spit it out.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse:
    Hydrogen peroxide is a potentially beneficial ingredient in many over-the-counter remedies for tooth sensitivity. You can reduce inflammation and pain by rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide diluted in water. Start by using a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide and mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water. Then swish it around inside your mouth for about 60 seconds before spitting out the mixture (do not swallow). Rinse your mouth off with water.

  • Garlic:
    Crushed garlic may help kill some of the bacteria associated with toothaches. Allicin is created when garlic cloves are crushed, chewed, or chopped and can fight off harmful bacteria in your mouth that causes infection. To use this remedy, gently chew on a peeled garlic clove or crush garlic to make a paste and apply directly onto the affected area.

  • Peppermint Tea:
    Peppermint tea may alleviate pain and fight bacteria in your mouth. Hold a cooled down, warm peppermint tea bag against the painful area of your mouth for a soothing effect.

  • Aloe Vera:
    Aloe vera is a medicinal plant that can help reduce inflammation and fight infections in your mouth. Aloe vera gel has been proven to improve symptoms of periodontitis, the most severe gum disease. Use an aloe-infused mouth rinse daily for 30 seconds or so twice per day to further enhance results.

  • Ice Packs:
    Ice reduces pain by constricting blood vessels, so it can be helpful when treating swelling of the face or injuries to the mouth. Hold a towel-wrapped ice pack against your face or jaw in 15-minute intervals every few hours until you are no longer experiencing discomfort.

When Should You Visit a Dentist for Toothache?

Making a dental appointment with your dentist is the most critical step in addressing sudden tooth pain. If you have any of these symptoms, contact them immediately:

Final Thoughts

If you’re experiencing a toothache, it’s essential to see a dentist as soon as possible. Many factors can lead to toothaches, such as dental decay or gum disease. They should never be ignored because the pain will only worsen. 

Our dentists will be able to provide toothache treatment and recommend an appropriate course of action. The sooner you seek dental treatment for your toothache, the better chance you have of relieving some of that discomfort before it gets out of hand.

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