We’ve all had that one time when right before going to bed or right before the start of the weekend, a monster toothache hits us. Luckily for you, we came up with a list of the most important and easy to make toothache home remedies.
You might be surprised that there are many factors that can cause toothaches. Infected tooth pulp, exposed root surfaces caused by trauma or gingival recession, gum disease, an incomplete or loose filling, temporomandibular joint disorders, cracked teeth and even micro fissures are amongst the reasons you might not be able to eat or sleep properly.
Whatever the factor, once it acts long enough, the ending is the same. The center of the tooth, also known as the pulp, get irritated and later even infected. The pain that results from this trauma is due to the fact that the pulp contains highly sensitive nerve endings. The more the nerve is affected, the less bearable the pain.
Toothache varies with the cause. It can come as a simple discomfort that can easily evolve to the feeling of a pulsating tooth or even an acute, continuous pain that extends form the ill tooth to the nearby gum area. Toothaches can also vary in regards to duration and what sets them off.
In terms of duration, some less severe aches can last less than a minute, others can keep you awake throughout the whole night. Regarding the moment it is set off, toothaches can be activated when biting or chewing on that specific tooth or when the disease becomes severe enough, pain can spontaneously appear, ruining your whole day.
If you have any of these symptoms, it is highly recommended you seek the professional help of a dentist. The sooner the better. Even small cavities can cause major infections that get half of your face swollen. It can even affect your eyesight, as the infection can extend to one’s eyelids. At that point there is the possibility of becoming unable to open one’s eye due to swelling.
As bad things rarely come unaccompanied, you might be faced with situations in which a dentist is unavailable in the middle of the night or you cannot make an appointment that day. For all of these situations, we have a list of toothache home remedies and how you yourself can make them so you can get a bit of relief until the scheduled dental appointment.
It is important to remember that these home remedies will not get rid of the infection but they will soothe the pain. As they are simple, natural solutions, these remedies can be used by pregnant women.
1. Salt and pepper
In case you wake up with a very sensitive tooth, this combination will be useful. The instructions are easy to use:
- you need to make a paste out of equal quantities of salt and pepper mixed with water
- you then apply the paste on the painful tooth at let the remedy work its magic for a few minutes
- repeat every day until your dentist appointment (but no more than a few days)
This homeopathic remedy is largely used to ease toothaches due to its antibiotic and medicinal properties. It is very simple to use:
- you take a clove of garlic (you can also use garlic powder) and you crush it
- then mix it with usual or black salt and apply the paste on the aching tooth or on the nearby cheek area
- you can repeat the process daily for a few days
There is also the option of chewing two garlic cloves although it might be difficult to do this if chewing causes you pain.
This is the best toothache remedy you could make at home. Cloves are known for their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant and anesthetic effect that can help relieve pain.
- you will need two gloves
- after grinding them, add a bit of olive oil (if you don’t usually have it at home, you can also use vegetable oil)
- use a cotton ball to apply the clove oil mixture on the affected tooth
Another option would be to first apply a few drops of clove oil in half a glass of water and use it to rinse your mouth.
Warning: Don’t use more than the specified amount of clove oil. Too much can be toxic.
This is a fast way of easing pain due to its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
- the moment you feel your tooth aches, start chewing a piece of raw onion for a couple of minutes
- if chewing causes you pain, simply place the piece of onion on the painful tooth
Another way of relieving toothaches is by using this type of parsley.
- you need asafetida and lemon juice
- after mixing them together, you need to warm the solution a bit
- you can apply this herbal mixture on the pain inducing area with the help of a cotton pad
Asafetida can also be used after having it fried in clarified butter. It will reduce pain in an instant.
Tea leaves contain tannins that have anesthetic proprieties. The instructions are simple:
- make some tea
- don’t throw away the tea bag
- while it is still warm, apply the bag on the painful area
- be careful when manipulating the tea bag, it shouldn’t tear
7. Warm salt water
This is a quick and easy solution for when you have a tooth that troubles you.
- add half a spoon of table salt to a glass of warm water
- after mixing them together, use the solution to thoroughly rinse your mouth
- repeat if needed
Salt helps extract fluid from the tissue. This mechanism helps stop nerve swelling from getting even more severe.
8. Guava Leaves
The instructions are simple:
- take one or two leaves and chew them until you feel juice flowing towards the painful tooth
One can also use the water in which guava leaves were boiled
- when the temperature of the solution decreases to a warm level, add some salt then use the mixture to thoroughly rinse your mouth.
In case you cannot find guava leaves, raw spinach is just as good and effective.
9. Wheatgrass Juice
This is also useful to use when dealing with bad toothaches as wheatgrass has antibacterial proprieties. The best way to use it is by extracting the juice in order to use it as mouthwash. Another option is to simply chew it.
When applied on the infected area, it will absorb toxins coming from the gums thus preventing the number of bacteria from growing.
Besides its ability to relieve pain, it can also help strengthen gums.
- make a bayberry bark paste then add vinegar
- apply the paste on the painful area to ease the pain
11. Ice Cube
Ice is useful when trying to numb pain.
- place an ice cube in a plastic bag then wrap it in a cotton cloth, making sure the material isn’t very thick, it will prevent the ice from taking effect
- place it on the cheek near the painful tooth
It is very important to avoid placing an ice cube directly to the skin, before previously wrapping it in a thin cloth as this direct contact can cause serious skin damage.
There is also the option of placing the ice cube directly on the tooth but it is not usually recommended as you risk putting exposed nerves in direct contact with ice which can cause a very painful reaction.
Ice can be used to perform an acupressure technique that can relieve toothache. All you need to do is rub an ice cube for a few minutes between your thumb and index finger.
12. Hot Compress
Toothaches can be eased by either applying hot or cold. If it increases the tooth pain, it means a hot compress is the solution for you. You just need to careful not to use a very hot cloth as it can cause skin burns.
13. Hydrogen Peroxide
The instructions are simple:
- use the solution to thoroughly rinse your mouth
- if the taste is not easy to bear, simply mix the peroxide with water in a glass before using it as mouthwash
- DO NOT SWALLOW
You can use whiskey, scotch, brandy or vodka in the same way as with hydrogen peroxide. An alternative is to use a mouthwash with high alcohol percentage.
All of these toothache home remedies will help you relieve the pain until you get to your dentist. It is important to remember that these solutions do not treat the cause, they only relieve the symptom. A dentist will do them both. Even if it hits you at midnight, after applying one of these home remedies, you should contact your local hospital’s emergency room and see if they have an on call dentist.
Photo Source: St.Lawrence Dentistry.