If you have a toothache, your first call should always be to your dentist. However, when tooth pain is serious, you’re going to want relief right now. Here are some effective home remedies for toothaches when you can’t get to your dentist right away.
Effective Home Remedies For Toothaches
Over The Counter Anesthetics
The easiest remedy is to pop out to your local drug store and ask your pharmacist to recommend pain-relieving gels and liquids. Benzocaine numbs your mouth, making it the perfect short-term remedy to relieve tooth pain.
Over The Counter Pain Relievers
Of course, you can also take OTC pain relievers you usually take for headaches, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Hydrogen Peroxide “Mouthwash”
If you have hydrogen peroxide in your house, it can act as a home pain reliever for tooth pain. However, while it will help reduce inflammation, kill bacteria, and help heal bleeding gums, it is also dangerous when swallowed or not properly diluted. So, use this with caution. Use nothing more than a 3% hydrogen peroxide level with equal parts water. Swish very carefully so you don’t swallow any and then spit it out and rinse with water.
Rinse With Salt Water
Sometimes tooth pain is related to debris stuck between your teeth. A rinse with saltwater helps dislodge debris while also acting as a natural disinfectant. However, it can also address pain because it reduces inflammation. Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt with a glass of warm water and swish it around the painful area, then spit it out. Unlike hydrogen peroxide, if you swallow it by accident, it won’t cause harm. It will however taste unpleasant.
If you happen to be health conscious, you might have wheatgrass at home. It works as an anti-inflammatory while boosting your immune system to reduce the risk of infection. This is thanks to the high chlorophyll content. Just swish it in your mouth like mouthwash.
Apply A Cold Compress
Cold compresses help dull the pain by constricting the blood vessels. A bag of ice or frozen peas or corn can work well at helping reduce inflammation and swelling. Cover the bag with a towel and apply to your face on the side of the pain for 20-minute intervals. If the pain is really bothering you, use the 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off method. Another refreshing idea is to chill a wet tea bag in the freezer and apply it directly to your tooth.
This is a tried-and-true remedy used for centuries. Clove oil numbs pain while also reducing inflammation because of the natural antiseptic eugenol. About 15 drops of clove oil can be diluted in an ounce of sunflower or similar oil and applied with a cotton ball directly on the tooth or gums. You can also make a mouthwash with a drop of clove oil in water and swish it in the affected area.
This is a surprising addition to this list, but despite the fact garlic gives you stinky breath, it has both pain-killing and bacteria-fighting powers. Because you have to either create a paste with a fresh garlic clove or chew a whole clove, we strongly advise you to avoid this method if you plan to socialize later.
The chances of you having guava leaves lying around the house are probably pretty slim. However, if you can find them, they act as a natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. You can either chew fresh leaves or make a mouthwash with dried leaves soaked in boiling water. Let the mixture cool before swishing it in the affected area.
Vanilla extract is a staple you probably have in your pantry. It actually contains alcohol to numb the pain and help the area heal. Dab a cotton ball in the vanilla and then apply it to the affected area a few times a day. Don’t use artificial vanilla as this won’t work.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil can be mixed with oils like canola or sunflower as an antibacterial treatment to help fight tooth decay. Either apply it to the affected area or make a mouthwash with a drop of the oil in water.
Things To Avoid When You Have A Toothache
To reduce further aggravation for your tooth and gums, avoid foods that can make your toothache worse. This includes foods that are too acidic like citrus fruits, hard to chew foods like raw veggies or meat, harder fruit like apples, and salty or spicy foods that can cause gum irritation. Hot drinks or cold foods like ice cream can also cause pain. Avoid drinking alcohol or rinsing with mouthwashes containing alcohol. Stick to soft foods until you see your dentist.
Keep Up Your Oral Health Regime
You might be tempted to avoid your usual oral health regime due to the pain, but this can make matters worse. Continue to brush and floss but use less pressure in the area. Gently brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled brush will help remove plaque that can add to the irritation.
How To Avoid Toothache
Brushing and flossing are your best defenses against toothache. It removes plaque and food debris to avoid bacteria that turn into damaging acids. The longer plaque stays on your teeth, the more damaging it becomes, turning into hard tartar. This increases the risk of tooth decay that causes tooth pain. You can also avoid sugary snacks and drinks that increase acids on your teeth surfaces.
Drink more water to help flush away bacteria and food debris. To complete your toothache prevention regime, visit your dentist twice a year for your checkups and professional cleanings. This ensures a) the plaque that remains after daily brushing and flossing is professionally removed and b) that signs of potential issues or decay are detected before pain sets in.
What To Do When Experiencing Toothache
As soon as you experience tooth pain you should call your dentist. They can schedule an emergency appointment to assess the cause and prescribe treatment.