8 Home Remedies for Tooth Pain

woman suffering from a tooth ache

Get relief for your toothache while you wait for your upcoming dental appointment.

Nothing can put a damper on your mood quite like tooth pain. A toothache is a particularly unpleasant form of discomfort that ranges from an itchy irritation to downright throbbing pain. Toothaches also tend to be pretty stubborn. Even when you do get the discomfort under control, that recognizable pain will eventually reappear.

The reason tooth pain is so difficult to manage at home and why it reoccurs is simple: Toothaches are a symptom of a bigger problem.

What Your Toothache Is Trying to Tell You

When you experience tooth pain or pain around your gums, your body is trying to alert you of some sort of injury, disease, or damage.

The type of pain you’re experiencing could even clue you into what the underlying issue might be. For example, temperature sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks often points to damaged tooth enamel or a fractured tooth. Severe persistent toothaches accompanied by a feeling of pressure could be a sign of an abscess.

Toothaches always warrant a dental appointment.

It’s imperative that you see a dentist whenever you’re experiencing tooth pain, sensitivity, or any sort of oral discomfort. Only a dentist can get to the root of the issue and stop toothaches from happening by evaluating your oral health and treating the problematic tooth.

Home remedies for tooth pain are not a substitution for a dental appointment, but they can be a way for you to get relief while you’re waiting to see your dentist. Let’s go over a few effective and safe ways you can alleviate your tooth pain while you wait to see your Wasilla family dentist.

1. Gently floss, brush, and swish with mouthwash.

Whenever you feel tooth pain, it’s a good idea to thoroughly clean your teeth. Sometimes stuck food debris can lead to gum irritation and mild tooth pain. Gently floss between your teeth and brush with your usual fluoride toothpaste. Finish with a minty mouthwash, swishing for about 30 seconds.

2. Rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution.

In addition to using a minty mouthwash, you can also swish your mouth with a saltwater solution. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water and swish for about 30 seconds before spitting. If your salt isn’t dissolving, mix it into hot water but take care to not swish with the solution until it’s at a safe temperature. 

3. Take an over-the-counter NSAID pain reliever.

Most OTC pain relievers will take the edge off a toothache, but NSAIDs are particularly effective, as they relieve pain in addition to reducing inflammation. Follow the directions on the bottle of the medication you choose. For more severe pain, you may also combine an NSAID like Ibuprofen with a pain reliever such as Tylenol if you first speak with your dentist for approval.

4. Apply a topical benzocaine toothache reliever.

Topical benzocaine-based toothache gels and ointments can be very effective for mild to moderate toothaches and can be used in addition to an NSAID pain reliever. You can find these toothache relievers in your local grocery store, but be sure to select a product that has the ADA Seal of Approval on the box.

5. Use a peppermint tea bag as a warm compress.

Warm compresses can be very soothing for a sore tooth. Boil a peppermint tea bag, remove it from the water, and allow it to cool to a safe level of warmth. You can then place the tea bag over the sore tooth, gently bite down to hold it in place and relax. Peppermint has pain-relieving qualities, but you can use just about any type of teabag.

6. Use an ice pack as a cold compress.

If you have some minor swelling due to an injured tooth, a cold compress can be more effective than a warm one. Cover an ice pack in a washcloth and place it against the affected area against your cheek. Applying ice directly to the teeth or gums is not advised.

7. Dab on a small amount of diluted clove oil.

Clove oil can be highly effective at relieving pain, but it is only safe when diluted with a carrier oil. Mixing a small amount of clove oil with olive oil will keep your gums safe while still allowing the natural eugenol properties of the clove to numb the pain. Use a cotton swab to apply a dab of the oil mixture and take care to not swallow any of it.

8. Sleep with your head elevated on a pillow.

Toothaches tend to creep up at night. If your toothache is affecting your sleep, try some of the home remedies above and prop up some pillows so your head is elevated. Keeping your head even slightly elevated helps to prevent any additional pressure or discomfort. 

While you’re trying out these home remedies for tooth pain, don’t forget to schedule an appointment at Valley Dental Clinic.

When you’re in the middle of a toothache, the first thing on your mind is to get that pain under control. But once you’ve found relief, don’t forget to schedule a dental appointment. You can book a visit with a Wasilla family dentist by calling the Valley Dental Clinic office or filling out this handy online form.

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency outside of our business hours, you may instead seek help from an emergency care center. Dental emergencies include severe toothaches accompanied by fever and swelling, heavy bleeding, or any instance in which your pain is overwhelming. Please don’t hesitate to seek emergency help in these situations, as you could have a dangerous oral infection.