When it comes to having any kind of aches in our body, there are no arguments that toothaches are possibly amongst the top three. Not only are they extremely painful, but they have the ability to cause us a ton of discomfort and seriously affect our day too.

Moreover, dealing with toothaches isn’t as simple as dealing with a headache or mild body ache. Amongst the several remedies for toothaches, there is often a debate whether hot or cold compress is better for it. So, if you are confused too, then you are at the right article as we will answer the question: is heat or cold better for a toothache?

Is Heat or Cold Better for a Toothache: First Things First

Let’s get this straight. Between heat and cold, cold is the best solution to treat a toothache. The reason why we do not recommend hot treatment for toothaches is that a toothache is typically a function of an infection caused by bacteria.

When your tooth gets infected, the bacteria tend to have a by-product of gas. This gas that gets formed will then get trapped in the tooth and will escape into the jaw bone. After reaching this point, there is no room anywhere for this gas to escape off to.

So, when you consume liquids that are hot, it will help this expand and allow it to put tremendous pressure on the endings of all the nerves around in the bone, which will result in intense pain. On the other hand, if you hold ice water inside your mouth, the cold will help make the gas contract and will also help stop the pain.

You may have often been told to apply hot compress on the outside, on your cheek. This may offer some relief for some time. However, we strongly advise you not to do that.

Applying hot compress outside your mouth will draw all the infection and gas created within towards the heat from the compress, which could ultimately result in facial swelling. It is much easier to treat the issue when it is just confined to the tooth and bone.

Using the right kind of antibiotics and pain medications is perhaps one of the most guaranteed ways to deal with a toothache before finally getting that particular tooth fixed by a dentist. But, if it still has not reached a stage where you do need to visit a dentist and the pain can be managed at home, then there are quite a few home remedies to get rid of it. Let’s discuss a few of them below.

Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of Toothaches

Going to a dentist for just a simple toothache may not necessarily be the right thing to do. Moreover, the solution does not always need to be at a pharmacy. There are several home remedies, some of which may already be in your cabinets, to help with toothaches. Check out some of them below.

  • Ice and Ice Pack

An extremely effective way to get rid of a toothache is to use ice and an ice pack. The way this works is by holding an ice pack on the outside near the affected area. At the same time, you can place a cube of ice inside your mouth near the tooth.

Instead of an ice cube, you can also use cold water and swish it around your mouth. While it may be effective, this may not be for everyone, such as people with sensitive teeth. This will make the pain even worse.

  • Clove Oil

Clove oil is possibly one of the most popular home remedies for toothaches. The oil contains eugenol, which is considered to be a natural antiseptic, antibacterial, and painkiller. It has the ability to naturally and effectively reduce quite a bit of the pain and the discomfort the ache causes, especially those due to tooth decay, damaged restorations, and fractured teeth.

About three drops of oil can be directly applied to the affected area, two to three times a day. Alternatively, you can chew on dried clove as well if you do not have the oil.

  • Salt Water

Another simple solution for relieving toothache is rinsing the mouth with warm salt water. All you will need to do is dilute about a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Make sure the water is not hot.

Rinse the salt water in your mouth for about a minute and then spit it out. This is a brilliant solution to get rid of any small food particles that are lodged in the cavities or in between the gums and teeth, which cause pain and irritation as well.

In addition, salt water can reduce the risk of any tooth infection, and it can also soothe sore gums and sore throat.

  • Fresh Garlic or Onion

You can use fresh garlic or onion to help with a toothache too. Slice them in a size that will fit comfortably over the tooth that aches. Very carefully chew on it so that the juice that releases from it can go into the tooth that aches.

While this helps to reduce the pain and discomfort, the obvious downside to it is the awful taste from them that you will have to deal with.

  • Liquor

Liquor is a fantastic way to relieve the tooth from pain. By downing a shot of strong alcohol and swishing it on the affected area, it can seriously help with the pain. Typically, people tend to opt for whiskey to do it, but you can also try anything from tequila to even brandy.

  • Tea Bags

Once you are done using your tea bag, place it directly over the tooth that aches and bite on it. The healing properties of the tea will help relieve some of the pain temporarily.

  • Lemons

Lemons contain high levels of citric acid along with vitamin C, which is very useful to reduce the pain occurring from toothaches. Simply cut a slice and place it over the affected tooth or just squeeze the juice from it and swish it over the affected area.


So, is heat or cold better for a toothache? The answer to it is definitely cold. Heat will do more damage to an existing toothache. In general, tooth problems are very serious and, in most cases, they won’t just go away. So, it is best to visit a dentist if the pain constantly occurs and is unmanageable.

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