Effective Home Remedies for a Toothache

A sore mouth, throbbing gums, and a persistent headache are just a few of the symptoms of a toothache. Dealing with a toothache is never fun and is often quite painful. The good news is there are a variety of effective home remedies you can try for a toothache.

The first thing you need to do is determine the cause of your toothache. Once you discover the location and cause, then you’ll be able to determine the best way to relieve the pain. From saltwater rinses to herbal ingredients, there are many ways you can find some short-term relief at home. If you’re looking for some relief from your toothache, then give these home remedies a try.

Keep in mind, persistent symptoms and severe pain may require professional intervention from your dentist. See your dentist right away if you’re also experiencing a fever, pain that lasts longer than several days, swelling, abnormally red gums, pain when biting, trouble breathing or swelling, pus, or foul-tasting discharge. You should also speak with your dentist before using the following home remedies if you have a medical condition that may conflict with these ingredients, or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Cold Compress

A cold compress is an effective home remedy for any pain but especially if your toothache was caused by trauma. Cold compresses are effective because they cause the blood vessels in the affected area to constrict. The cold also interrupts the pain signal, which reduces pain.

Furthermore, cold compresses can also help reduce inflammation and swelling. To make a cold compress, simply wrap a towel around a bag of ice. Then, hold the ice on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. You can then reapply the cold compress every couple of hours.


Garlic is a wonderful ingredient that adds a ton of flavor to many dishes. But that’s not all it’s known for. Garlic also has medicinal properties too.

Did you know garlic can ward off harmful bacteria that cause dental plaque? But that’s not all, garlic can also act as a pain reliever making it a great home remedy to try for a toothache. Simply crush a clove of garlic and create a paste. Then, apply the paste to the affected area.

Clove Oil 

Just like garlic, clove is another ingredient that offers a great flavor for many recipes. It also has medicinal properties. To obtain its benefits, you’ll need to use clove oil for your toothache. This is because the oil contains eugenol, a natural antiseptic.

Clove oil can numb the pain and reduce inflammation making it an effective home remedy to try. Apply a small amount of clove oil to a cotton pad and then apply the oil to the affected area. Alternatively, you can also add a drop of clove oil to a small cup of water and use it as a mouthwash.

Guava Leaves

You may have enjoyed a guava fruit before but did you know the guava leaves have medicinal properties? In fact, Healthline states, “Guava leaves have anti-inflammatory properties that can help heal wounds.” 

The leaves also have an antimicrobial activity that can support oral care. To help your toothache, try chewing on a few fresh guava leaves. You may also benefit from making a mouthwash out of boiling water and crushed guava leaves.

Salt Water Mouth Rinse

A salt water mouth rinse is an effective home remedy for a toothache. This is because salt water is a natural disinfectant and can help reduce inflammation in your mouth and heal any oral lesions.

To make a salt water mouth rinse, mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt with 8-ounces of water. Use it as a mouthwash and spit it out, don’t swallow. Repeat a few times per day.

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

A hydrogen peroxide rinse is another effective home remedy. It can help heal sores in your mouth, can help mask the pain of your toothache, and can help decrease inflammation.

To make the rinse, mix equal parts of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and water. Swish the rinse in your mouth for about 30-seconds and then spit it out. Make sure you rinse your mouth several times with plain water after.

It’s worth noting, you mustn’t swallow hydrogen peroxide when rinsing. This remedy is also not recommended for children.


Just like garlic and clove, thyme is another flavorful ingredient that has medicinal properties. Thyme has antioxidant and antibacterial properties, both of which can help treat toothaches.

To reap the benefits of thyme, you’ll need to use thyme essential oil. Apply a few drops of thyme essential oil, and a few drops of water onto a cotton ball. After you’ve diluted the oil with water, apply the mixture to the affected area. Alternatively, you can also mix a drop of oil with a glass of water and use it as a mouthwash.

Peppermint Tea Bags

Peppermint tea is both delicious and can offer relief for your pain. Enjoy your cup of tea and then save the peppermint tea bag to help numb the pain of your toothache. It can also help soothe sensitive gums.

First, allow the tea bag to cool — you want it to be slightly warm but not too hot! Then apply the tea bag to the affected area. Alternatively, you can also place the teabag in the freezer for a few minutes and then apply the cool compress to the affected area.


Wheatgrass is renowned for its healing properties. It can help eliminate toxins in the body, boost your metabolism and immune system, and it can help relieve inflammation in your mouth.

Further, wheatgrass is also high in chlorophyll which helps fight bacteria. To use wheatgrass as a toothache remedy, use wheatgrass juice as a mouthwash. Swish it around your mouth for about 30-seconds.

Vanilla Extract

Another home remedy you can try is vanilla extract. Place a small amount of vanilla extract onto a cotton ball or your finger. Then, apply the extract to the affected area. You can do this a couple of times per day.

Vanilla extract may help your toothache because it contains alcohol which can help numb the pain. Additionally, it also has antioxidant properties which may help heal any oral wounds.

Patty Weasler, RN

Patty Weasler, RN

Patty is a freelance health writer and nurse (BSN, CCRN). She has worked as a critical care nurse for over 10 years and loves educating people about their health. When she's not working, Patty enjoys any outdoor activity that she can do with her husband and three kids.