What you can do
If you have a toothache, it’s important to figure out what’s at the root of your discomfort. From there, you can determine how to best relieve any pain, swelling, or other symptoms.
A regular salt water rinse and cold compress application can typically remedy minor irritation, but more serious toothaches may require a dentist’s intervention.
If your symptoms persist for more than a day or two, see your dentist. They can provide guidance on how to relieve your symptoms and prevent future pain.
You should also talk to your dentist before using any of the following remedies if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any medical condition that may be impacted by herbal ingredients.
Keep reading to learn more.
For many people, a salt water rinse is an effective first-line treatment. Salt water is a natural disinfectant, and it can help loosen food particles and debris that may be stuck in between your teeth. Treating a toothache with salt water can also help reduce inflammation and heal any oral wounds.
To use this approach, mix 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) of salt into a glass of warm water and use it as a mouthwash.
A hydrogen peroxide rinse may also help to relieve pain and inflammation. In addition to killing bacteria, hydrogen peroxide can reduce plaque and heal bleeding gums.
Make sure you properly dilute the hydrogen peroxide. To do this, mix 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water and use it as a mouthwash. Don’t swallow it.
You may use a cold compress to relieve any pain you’re experiencing, especially if any type of trauma has caused your toothache. When you apply a cold compress, it causes the blood vessels in the area to constrict. This makes pain less severe. The cold can also reduce any swelling and inflammation.
To use this approach, hold a towel-wrapped bag of ice to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. You can repeat this every few hours.
Peppermint tea bags can be used to numb pain and soothe sensitive gums.
To do this, allow a used tea bag to cool down before applying it to the affected area. It should still be slightly warm.
You can also swap approaches and use this to cool, rather than warm, the area. To do this, put a used tea bag in the freezer for a couple of minutes to chill it and then apply the bag to your tooth.