A toothache or a sore tooth is not just annoying but also downright agonizing, and the causes can range from mouth trauma to infections; tooth decay or a cavity being the most common. However, the only way to determine the exact reason why you have a toothache is by visiting a dentist. Hence, knowing how to deal with a toothache is essential to buy you some time in case you experience it when the dentist’s office is closed.

Additionally, toothaches can completely derail your daily life. It would be difficult to concentrate on things, can affect your ability to work, and cause a headache.

How to Deal with a Toothache: Top Remedies

The pain remedies we included have been used for years, and most of these are things you already have in your house. That being said, these are only short-term solutions, so it is always advisable that you visit a dentist to find the root cause of the problem.

1. Clove

Clove has been known to help manage toothaches. It has an active ingredient called eugenol, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help relieve pain. In fact, you will notice several kinds of toothpaste containing clove or clove oil.

The way to use clove to help relieve a toothache is to simply place a whole clove near or on the tooth that hurts and then bite and grind it down hard so that the oils get released. This will produce a bitter taste, and you will have an urge to spit it out, but make sure you don’t. Keep it in your mouth for about four minutes and then rinse your mouth.

Conversely, you can also choose to use pre-made clove oil. Apply a few drops on a cotton ball and dab it exactly where your tooth hurts. However, clove oil is difficult to find in stores.

2. Garlic

Garlic is very similar to clove as it contains compounds that can naturally help fight the pain in the tooth. The active compound in garlic that contains antibacterial properties is known as allicin. This gets released when you crush or chop garlic, and it can act against any microbial pathogens and can help stop infections.

3. Warm Salt Water Solution

You have heard this from your parents and grandparents as a quick solution to heal sore throats, but gargling with warm salt water also helps ease toothaches. All you need to do is put in half a spoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of warm, but not hot, water. Swish the solution thoroughly all over the inside of your mouth for 30 seconds to a minute.

The solution can draw the fluid from the tissues of the affected area, and this will help reduce the pressure, especially if there is an abscess. Saltwater gargling is also a good solution if you suffer from general mouth sores.

4. Guava Leaves

This isn’t the most popular method of dealing with a toothache, but it is said that it is just as effective as the ones we mentioned above. Typically found in several Turkish grocery stores, it has been suggested that these leaves are capable of inhibiting a specific bacterium that is found inside the mouth, known as the Staphylococcus aureus.

In general, the guava leaves have antimicrobial properties, and they are traditionally used for gingivitis (a.k.a. inflammation of the gums) and tooth decay. Additionally, it also helps in healing mouth ulcers and eases toothaches.

The way you use these leaves is by just chewing them until you taste the juice and feel it easing your toothache. Conversely, you can drop these leaves in a pot of boiling water, let it cool, and then swirl it around the inside of your mouth.

5. Toothache Plant

We know that this sounds highly unrealistic, but there is something called a toothache plant and it does a fantastic job in easing toothaches. There are different types of this plant that are grown all around the world, and its oil is the main ingredient that is used in several oral hygiene products. That being said, it’s not exactly clear how this plant manages to ease a toothache.

6. Ice

Ice has long been used as an alternative remedy for many types of pain since researchers believe that the ice is capable of stopping the pain signals going to the brain. To use ice, simply place it in your hand, on the very same side of your body which has a toothache. Rub this ice in the space between your forefinger and your thumb for about seven to eight minutes or until the point you find the area going numb.

7. Cold Compress

If you feel your face is swollen, take a cold compress and place it on your cheek. This could help ease the pain to a certain extent, especially if you have chipped a tooth or have knocked it loose.

Swelling can also mean that you may have an abscess, which is a sac of gunk and pus deep in the roots of the tooth. An abscess can cause a severe infection of the jaw and other teeth. Some signs of an abscess may include red gums and a fever.

8. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers and Anesthetics

While this may not exactly be a home remedy, getting pain relievers is quite easy at a pharmacy. For children, acetaminophen works the best, while for adults, the choices of pain relievers are plenty such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, and aspirin.

You can also use anesthetics such as a pain-relieving gel or liquids and apply them directly on the sore tooth or the nearby gums. These contain benzocaine which can numb your mouth for a short time.


You wouldn’t want a toothache to disrupt a work day completely, so it is crucial to know how to deal with a toothache in the event where you can’t visit a dentist right away. The home remedies we have suggested are well-known traditional remedies, and we are confident that at least one of them will be beneficial in helping ease your toothache.

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