Home Remedies for Toothache Relief

Toothaches can catch you off guard, delivering discomfort that ranges from mild annoyance to severe pain. While the ultimate solution should always involve a visit to the dentist, there are several home remedies you can use for temporary relief. However, it’s equally important to be aware of commonly suggested remedies that could potentially do more harm than good. In this blog, we’ll explore both sides to help you navigate toothache relief safely at home.

Safe and Effective Home Remedies

Saltwater Rinse

A classic for a reason, a saltwater rinse acts as a natural disinfectant. It can help loosen food particles and debris, reduce inflammation, and heal oral wounds. Mix a half teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water and use it as a mouthwash.

Cold Compress

clove oil

For toothaches resulting from trauma, applying a cold compress can reduce inflammation and numb the surrounding area, offering temporary relief. Apply a cold pack to the cheek for 20 minutes at a time.

Clove Oil

Clove oil contains eugenol, a natural antiseptic that can numb dental pain and reduce inflammation. Apply a small amount to a cotton ball and dab it on the affected area carefully. Remember to dilute with a carrier oil to avoid irritation.


Garlic not only has powerful antibacterial properties but can also provide pain relief. Crush a garlic clove, mix it with a little salt, and apply it directly to the affected tooth.

Peppermint Tea Bags

Used tea bags, especially peppermint, can soothe sensitive gums and numb pain. Apply a cooled tea bag to the affected area for temporary relief.

Remedies to Avoid

While many home treatments can offer temporary relief, some remedies might worsen your condition or cause additional oral health issues:

Aspirin on the Tooth or Gums

Directly applying aspirin to the sore area can cause a chemical burn to the gums and mucous membranes. Always swallow pain relievers instead.

Excessive Use of Clove Oil

Although clove oil can be beneficial, using it in high concentrations without dilution can damage oral tissues. Moderation and proper dilution are key.

Lemon Juice

The high acidity of lemon juice can erode tooth enamel and aggravate tooth pain, especially if decay is involved.

Hard Foods

Chewing hard foods might seem like a good distraction technique, but it can lead to further dental damage, especially if your teeth are already compromised.

Very Hot or Very Cold Compresses

Applying extreme temperatures directly to your face can cause sudden changes in tooth materials, potentially leading to increased pain or even cracks.

Overusing Hydrogen Peroxide

While hydrogen peroxide can kill bacteria, excessive use can irritate or damage the gums and oral tissues.

Alcohol Consumption

Though it might temporarily numb the pain, alcohol can dry out your mouth and exacerbate the toothache.


While dealing with a toothache, it’s essential to know which home remedies can provide safe, temporary relief and which ones to avoid. Always remember that these remedies are not long-term solutions. Consulting with a dental professional is crucial for addressing the underlying cause of your toothache and for maintaining optimal oral health. In the meantime, use these tips to navigate the discomfort and protect your mouth from further harm.

Dr. Snehlata Kulhari

Dr. Snehlata Kulhari completed her Bachelors of Dental Surgery (BDS) at Government Dental College in Punjab, India and her Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine in Boston. She has been practicing dentistry since 2011 and has founded Smile Mantra Family Dentistry to provide dental care and education to the community of Cary, NC. Dr. Kulhari stays up to date on the latest dental research and advancements in order to offer her patients exceptional dental care. 


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