What home remedies treat a toothache?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
Clove oil is a great natural remedy for toothaches, or any pain you may have in your mouth and around your gums. In this video, I will explain how clove oil works to relieve toothache pain.
There are many, many old wives' tales regarding toothaches and how to care for them. The best practice is to go to the dentist as soon as possible. If you find yourself suffering from a toothache and are not able to get to a dentist right away, try rinsing your mouth with warm water to clean it out. You can also gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. If you are in pain, you can try taking an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues. Schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible. You could have an abscess or a more serious condition.
There are several home remedies you can try in order to treat a toothache. Try cleaning your mouth with warm water or warm salt water, and using dental floss to remove anything caught between your teeth. Sometimes a wet tea bag placed near an aching tooth can help, but make sure the tea bag isn’t hot. Another home remedy is to apply an antiseptic that has benzocaine onto your gums or tooth, or try rubbing oil of cloves (also called eugenol) on your gums, to help numb them. The herbal remedy feverfew has a long history of use for toothaches, and the capsules can be found at drugstores. If you know that your toothache is from trauma to the tooth, you can apply a cold compress to your outside cheek near the tooth.

While you may want to take an over-the-counter painkiller such as aspirin or ibuprofen initially, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends seeing a dentist if your toothache continues, and not treating the toothache with painkillers alone. While medication can make the pain go away while you’re taking it, there could be something wrong with the tooth (an infection or gum disease, for example) that needs professional dental treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.