What Is the Fastest Way to Stop a Toothache at Home?

Reviewed on 2/24/2022
What Is the Fastest Way to Stop a Toothache at Home
While you should see a dentist for tooth pain, here are 11 home remedies that can help you stop a toothache while you wait for your appointment

While you should see a dentist for tooth pain, here are 11 home remedies that can help you stop a toothache while you wait for your appointment.

11 ways to stop a toothache at home

  1. Salt water rinse. Salt water acts as a natural disinfectant and alleviates inflammation. You can prepare salt water at home by mixing a half teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Swish your mouth with this solution to relieve a toothache.
  2. Hydrogen peroxide rinse. Rinsing your mouth with a 3% percent hydrogen peroxide solution can help kill bacteria and reduce pain and inflammation in your teeth and gums. Dilute hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water and rinse thoroughly.
  3. Cold compressApplying a cold compress for 15-20 minutes 5-6 times a day can help minimize swelling and relieve pain by constricting blood vessels in the area. You can wrap ice in some cloth and keep it on the affected tooth.
  4. Clove oil drops. Clove oil is an antiseptic that numbs pain and may help stop a toothache. You can use clove oil by putting 2-3 drops in a cotton ball and applying it to the affected area. Alternatively, you can rinse your mouth with a solution of clove oil mixed with water.
  5. Guava mouthwash. Guava has antimicrobial properties that can help heal wounds, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Chew on guava leaves or make a mouthwash by boiling crushed leaves.
  6. Thyme mouthwash. Thyme has both antibacterial and antioxidant properties that can help fight bacteria and alleviate toothache. You can apply a few drops of thyme oil to the affected area, or make a mouthwash and rinse with it.
  7. Peppermint tea. Peppermint tea can help soothe your mouth and alleviate pain. Rinse your mouth with peppermint tea or apply tea bags dipped in cold water on the affected tooth.
  8. Garlic paste. Garlic can kill germs in your mouth and help relieve toothache. Crush garlic and apply it as a paste to the affected area. Keep in mind that this can cause some stinging. Avoid giving raw garlic to children.
  9. Vanilla extract. Vanilla extract contains both antioxidants and alcohol, which can help you heal faster. Take a few drops on your finger and apply to the affected part a few times a day.
  10. Over-the-counter (OTC) anesthetic gels. Some OTC anesthetic gels, such as the ones that contain benzocaine, can numb the mouth for a while and provide short-term toothache relief.
  11. Pain medications. OTC pain medications can help reduce pain and inflammation: acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen (avoid giving aspirin to children under 16).

What causes toothaches?

Causes of toothaches include:

When to see a dentist for a toothache

If home remedies are not enough to relieve tooth pain, you will need to see a dentist. Contact your dentist if you have the following symptoms:

  • Toothache that persists after 1-2 days
  • Severe toothache
  • Additional symptoms such as:

How can you prevent toothaches?

Following good oral hygiene is the best way to avoid tooth problems:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Rinse your mouth after every meal or at least twice a day (preferably with an antiseptic mouthwash).
  • See your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning.
  • Avoid eating too much sugar.

You can also ask your dentist about sealants and fluoride applications.


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Image Source: iStock Images

Cleveland Clinic. Toothache. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10957-toothache

Ashu Agbor M, Naidoo S. Ethnomedicinal Plants Used by Traditional Healers to Treat Oral Health Problems in Cameroon. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:649832. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26495020/

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