February 9 is National Toothache Day! If you can't get to the dentist for a toothache, try one of our home remedies to help alleviate pain.

Home Remedies for Toothaches

February 9, 2021

What can you do when you get a toothache and can’t get to your dentist? Try a home remedy to help manage your pain until you can get in to see a dentist.


Over-the-Counter Toothache Treatments


When you need to relieve the pain of a toothache, you can go with the tried and true over-the-counter pain relievers.

Benzocaine gels, like Orajel, can be applied directly to the affected area and provide a temporary numbing sensation that can help manage toothache pain.

You can also try anti-inflammatory analgesics like Ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve toothache pain that is caused by swelling.

*Always call your dentist before taking any medication for your toothache.


Got a toothache but need a dentist? Use our ‘Find a Dentist’ tool to locate a provider that’s right for you!


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Homeopathic Toothache Treatments


Not a fan of over-the-counter medications? There are some natural, homeopathic remedies you can try. Many of them may even be hiding in your pantry or kitchen cupboards.

Saltwater Gargle – Saltwater cleans out infected areas, loosening debris and providing temporary relief. Swish a small amount for 30 seconds and repeat once or twice. This will help to get rid of some nasty bacteria and pus for short term relief.

Clove Oil – Clove have a natural anesthetic called eugenol. It numbs whatever it comes into contact with. Put a couple of drops on to a cotton ball and place it on the affected area. That should give you a few minutes of relief.

WARNING: Clove oil can make the pain worse if it comes in contact with other sensitive areas of your mouth. Be very careful.

Peppermint Tea Bags – Peppermint has similar numbing properties to cloves. Wet a peppermint tea bag and place into the freezer for a few minutes. Then, apply the cooled tea bag onto the affected area. Keep it on for 20 minutes. Also, like clove oil, it’s a short-term remedy.

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse – Like salt water, hydrogen peroxide acts as a cleansing aid. However, it doesn’t just remove bacteria, it attacks it. Mix equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and water and swish for 30 seconds. (Repeat once or twice.)

WARNING: Do NOT ingest and DO NOT use this remedy for children

Bourbon-Soaked Cotton Ball – Like most alcohols, bourbon has numbing properties. Put some on a cotton ball and place on the affected area. You’ll get some short-term relief that wears off as the alcohol evaporates away.

WARNING: Do NOT use this remedy for children.

Garlic – Acting like an antibiotic, garlic can inhibit the growth of bacteria that is attacking your tooth. To use it, first mash a garlic clove with a pinch of salt and apply to the affected area. Next, pop a clove of garlic in your mouth and chew. Repeat this process a couple of times a day. You may get some temporary relief unless the pain is caused by temporomandibular joint disorder, in which case you get no relief.

*Always call your dentist before trying a homeopathic toothache remedy.


Toothache Next Steps


Call your dentist and make an appointment. Your toothache pain may be an indicator of a serious oral health condition like an abscess, TMJ, sinus trouble, or heart disease.

Whether the cause is serious or not, a toothache lasting more than a day warrants a visit to your dentist.


Got a toothache but need a dentist? Use our ‘Find a Dentist’ tool to locate a provider that’s right for you!


Find a Dentist