How to Get Rid of a Toothache Naturally

Young girl with a toothache touches her mouth while wincing in pain

Young, old, or in-between, toothaches are never fun. The best way to see what’s going on in you or your child’s mouth if a toothache appears to be the problem is to visit a dentist and let them provide a diagnosis! But barring that, there are several natural remedies you may wish to try first. Here are a few…

5 Natural Gum & Toothache Home Remedies

There are a number of ways that you may be able to soothe minor toothaches on your own at home. Here are some of the most safe and effective.

1. Gargle With Warm Saltwater

Warm saltwater acts as a natural disinfectant and may also help reduce inflammation. What’s more, gargling with saltwater may help dislodge stuck food particles caught between teeth that are causing pain or sensitivity.

How salty should the water be? Try dissolving about a half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water (around 8 oz).

2. Rinse With Diluted Hydrogen Peroxide

Like saltwater, hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria while resolving some pain and inflammation.

For best results, use a 50%/50% ratio, or equal parts, of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and water. Swish around your mouth for about 30 to 60 seconds, then spit. (Do not swallow).

3. Use Thyme Mouthwash

Acting as both a natural antioxidant and antibacterial agent, thyme mouthwash could help stave off infection and relieve symptoms of a minor toothache.

You can make a thyme mouthwash by adding a few drops of food-grade thyme essential oil to water, or you can steep thyme leaves in boiling water, strain, and then use the water as a mouthwash.

4. Apply a Cold Compress

When it comes to pain, heat often soothes, but cold is often best at reducing swelling and inflammation. Therefore when you have a toothache, apply ice (or a cold compress), not heat!

Here’s how: Wrap ice in a clean cloth and apply it to the cheek adjacent to the painful area. Use the cold compress in 15-minute intervals.

5. Use Clove Oil

Clove oil is known to possess antibacterial, antifungal, and pain relief properties. That’s because it contains an ingredient called eugenol.

Though it does have a strong taste to some, clove oil can be a great remedy to some toothaches.

What Causes a Toothache?

There are a variety of reasons you or your child might be experiencing a toothache, including but not limited to:

  • Stuck food causing excess pressure
  • Worn enamel/dentin causing sensitivity
  • An abscessed or infected tooth
  • Inflamed gums (gingivitis)
  • Tooth fracture or cavities
  • Teeth grinding

When to See a Professional

While you may wish to try a natural remedy for your toothache, if you’re experiencing any of the following, we recommend that you schedule an emergency visit with a dentist ASAP:

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Persistent pain occurring for more than 1-2 days that isn’t resolved by natural remedies
  • Severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Pain due to an injury of the face/mouth
  • Discharge

Learn More Natural Oral Health Remedies

Looking for scientifically proven remedies for dental problems, both natural and otherwise?

Read my book, “If Your Mouth Could Talk”. It goes over the basics of oral care, provides proven at-home remedies to common issues, and uncovers the relationship between oral health and general health.

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About the Author

About Dr. Kami Hoss

Dr. Kami Hoss is a nationally sought-after expert with a master’s in craniofacial biology from USC, a doctorate in dental surgery from UCLA, and a post-doctorate in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. With over 25 years of experience in the dental field, Dr. Hoss is a #1 National Best Seller author frequently featured on NBC, ABC, FOX, NPR, and CBS affiliates, and founder of The Super Dentists, one of the leading multi-specialty dental practices in the country.

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