If you’ve ever woken up to a toothache, you’ve probably also found yourself on the internet searching for a miracle home remedy to ease your discomfort until your dentist can see you, or even better, hoping that the pain magically subsides all on its own.

While a close friend or family member may swear by a home remedy, the truth is, if you’re experiencing tooth pain, it’s more than likely your body’s way of telling you that something is internally going on that requires more attention than bourbon on a cotton ball or some clove oil.

But do any of these home remedies really work?

Why Use Home Remedies For Tooth Pain?

No home remedy for tooth pain is scientifically proven to ease your tooth pain with long term results. The only way to successfully treat a toothache is to see your dentist so the tooth can be diagnosed properly and fixed.

Even so, many people believe in the power of alternative healing and remedies for reasons like:

Popular Tooth Pain Remedies - and Whether They Actually Work

The most popular home remedies for toothaches have been around for generations, and may even be suggested to you by a grandparent who swears by them. Some of the more common remedies include:

Clove Oil

Applying a drop or two of clove oil onto a cotton ball and applying it directly to the throbbing tooth to numb the affected area.

Does it work?

While clove oil may be successful in numbing the area temporarily, the short-term relief you feel will only last for a few minutes and clove oil can also make the pain worse if it comes into contact with other sensitive areas of your mouth like your tongue.

Peppermint Tea Bags

Apply a chilled tea bag directly to the throbbing area, keeping the bag applied for at least 20 minutes. Tea bags have numbing properties similar to cloves.

Does it work?

The numbness you experience from the tea bag may work temporarily, but as soon as you remove the tea bag, the pain will return.

Salt Water Rinse

Mix a teaspoon of salt with warm water to create a liquid and rinse your mouth with the solution for 30 seconds, spitting the rinse out afterwards.

Does it work?

Saltwater rinses are great for cleaning out infected areas, loosening debris and eliminating bacteria in your mouth. While it’s not a long term solution for tooth pain, it may provide you with some temporary relief.

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water, and use the mixture to rinse your mouth for 30 seconds, spitting the rinse out afterwards. If ingested, it can cause stomach or intestinal problems.

Does it work?

Much like a salt water rinse, hydrogen peroxide helps to kill bacteria and prevent gingivitis which could be causing you a toothache.

Vanilla Extract

Apply a small amount of extract to your fingertip and rub the affected tooth and gum area, or apply a small amount of extract to a cotton ball and place it on the tooth that’s causing you discomfort.

Does it work?

Alcohol is one of the active ingredients in vanilla extract, and acts as a numbing agent. While vanilla extract can offer temporary relief, it’s not a long term solution for tooth pain.

Remember: Home Toothache Treatment Should Always Be Temporary

No matter how you’re pursuing pain relief, remember that the ultimate goal needs to be visiting the dentist. While there are superficial problems that can lead to periods of discomfort, there are many more serious concerns that demand professional help. If you have a cavity, an abscess, or gum disease, you will need to receive treatment from your dentist to regain your comfort (and your health). Putting off a dental appointment for tooth pain may only lead to the problem growing and ultimately requiring more invasive treatment.

Relieving Tooth Pain Until The Dentist Can See Me

  • Ask your dentist if there are any safe measures they can recommend for dealing with the pain until your appointment
  • If you’re in pain, state that it’s a dental emergency so you’re able to get an appointment as soon as possible.
  • Use ice to numb the pain and decrease inflammation
  • Write down details like when the pain started, how frequent it is, and where it is in your mouth. These are all questions you will be asked at your appointment.

If you’re suffering from tooth pain that isn’t going away, call Dr. Okamura and schedule an appointment to get your toothache treated with a long term solution that you can live with!

Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.