We have all had a toothache at some point in our lives. Sometimes our tooth hurts when we are unable to see a dentist or are caught up with something unavoidable. We then struggle to cope with the pain or pop multiple analgesics until we can get to a dentist. Here are some common home remedies for a toothache, such as clove oil, ice pack, saltwater rinse, raw onion, garlic, tea, etc., that you can opt for getting relief.
However, you must remember that these home remedies are not alternatives to dental treatment and it is best to consult your dentist as soon as possible.
1. Clove oil
Clove oil is probably one of the best home remedies for toothache. It contains eugenol which has remarkable ability to reduce inflammation, destroy bacteria and give a numbing sensation to the tooth. (1)
Eugenol is present in some restorative types of cement too. However it can irritate the soft tissues, so be careful while applying it. Chewing on a clove is recommended. You can also mix it with a small quantity of olive oil if the flavor is too strong for you.
2. Ice pack
Applying ice over the external area helps to control the swelling and pain. It is advisable to employ cold compression intermittently. Apply ice for fifteen to twenty minutes followed by a break.
Compressing the area with ice narrows the blood vessels, reduces blood flow to that area and hence reduces pain. Take a small cube of ice wrapped in a thin napkin and keep it over the painful tooth from the outside.
The cold sensation will override the pain sensation and make you feel better.
3. Saltwater rinses
There are several home remedies for a toothache but saltwater rinse is the easiest option. It is convenient and hardly requires any special ingredient. If you have a toothache, it is certain that there is a bacterial invasion in and around that tooth.
Saltwater being hyperosmotic helps to kill these bacteria. Its antibacterial properties make it useful during a toothache.
Take about two teaspoons of salt in a glass of lukewarm water. Repeat this two or three times a day.
Tea contains tannins which have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Thyme tea or peppermint tea is good for a toothache. Since it is anti-bacterial, it will reduce the infection in the area and relieve pain. Remember not to add any sugar to the tea.
You can even place a cold tea bag over the painful area.
5. Hydrogen peroxide rinses
Dilute hydrogen peroxide ( 2.5%- 3%) can is used as a mouthwash. Swish it two to three times a day. Hydrogen peroxide has antibacterial, and it will reduce the microbial flora of the tooth that is bothering you. (2)
Be careful not to swallow this solution and take it in small quantities as it can irritate your mucosa.
6. Raw onion & garlic
Onion and garlic have been used as household medicines for a long time. Onion has beneficial anti-bacterial properties and chewing on a raw onion or keeping one near the painful tooth can help you feel better.
Garlic contains a chemical called allicin which has antibacterial properties. (3) Crush a clove of garlic, add some salt to it and apply it to the affected tooth. This will help relieve your pain as it destroys the bacteria.
7. Peppermint oil
Take a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and apply it to the tooth that is giving you pain for a few minutes. Peppermint numbs the area and helps to reduce the pain.
It also contains menthol which has both antibacterial properties and provides a soothing effect to the tooth. Additionally, it gives you a fresh breath too.
Chewing on some raw ginger will help you during a toothache. You can also add it to your food.
9. Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is an anti-oxidant, which is why it is used as one of the most popular home remedies for a toothache. It also contains alcohol in small amounts which will numb the tooth.
Take a small cotton ball with few drops of the extract and place it over the tooth that is giving you pain. You can repeat this three to four times per day.
10. Baking soda
Baking soda mixed with toothpaste can be a right pain relief option. In a small vessel, make a mixture of baking soda and toothpaste and apply it to the affected tooth two or three times per day.
11. Guava leaves
Apart from the common antibacterial properties seen in other home remedies, guava leaves have an anti-spasm property. They are also disinfectants, and you can directly chew on these leaves.
Or you can put them in boiling water and use the cooled down water as a mouthwash for pain relief.
Asafoetida is a common kitchen ingredient that is used for cooking. It can also be one of the best in-house remedies for a toothache. It also reduces gum swelling and bleeding.
There are several ways to use asafoetida which is both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. (5) You can either directly apply its paste over the aching tooth, but it is ideal to mix it with lemon juice since the anti-bacterial property is enhanced.
One tablespoon mixed with lemon juice and applied as a paste is an excellent analgesic. Thirdly, you can also use asafoetida water as a rinsing solution.
Over the counter painkillers
There are common analgesics that will provide you relief from the pain. Ibuprofen is an analgesic which is anti-inflammatory too.
This class of drugs is most effective. You can take paracetamol if you have any known allergies to aspirin. Tylenol, which is acetaminophen is also an effective painkiller for a toothache.
Over to you
You will probably find multiple home remedies for a toothache within the four walls of your kitchen. While these are good to turn to for emergency pain relief, remember that these are all stopgap measures only.
You should not replace your dental visit or delay it indefinitely by opting these home remedies for a long time.